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Newark and Sherwood District Council cabinet members approve Homelessness and Rough Sleeper Strategy for the next five years

A new strategy has been drawn up to try to tackle the district’s homelessness and rough sleeping issues.

Newark and Sherwood District Council has a statutory duty to have a strategy under the Homelessness Act 2002 – and has now approved its plan for the next five years.

The council set out its vision, stating it aimed: “To create an environment where people lead safe and healthy lifestyles, ensuring suitable housing for all.

Castle House, headquarters of Newark and Sherwood District Council.
Castle House, headquarters of Newark and Sherwood District Council.

“At the heart of this is our aim to break the cycle of homelessness by ensuring the causes of homelessness are identified at an earlier stage and prevented where possible.”

The aim is to bring different bodies together to tackle all of the themes that feed into – and stem from – someone becoming homeless.

Paul Taylor said: “I welcome the fact it acknowledges that homelessness is not just a bricks-and-mortar issue.

“Far too often think homelessness is just having no home or no roof, is far more open than that.

You don't solve homelessness if you don't address the causes of homelessness and I think that is really important.”

The six priorities outlined by the council are:

• Early intervention through effective partnership working

• The provision of an accessible, agile, and responsive homelessness service

• Access to affordable and quality accommodation across all sectors

• Tackling rough sleeping by ‘developing and improving pathways

• Linking homelessness, health, well-being, and housing together to improve the life chances and aspirations of those affected

• Delivering holistic support solutions to sustain long term tenancies and prevent homelessness and rough sleeping.

In 2022/2023 Newark and Sherwood received £226,279 for Homelessness Prevention, which is being used to deliver services including prevention, staffing and contributions to partner delivery through service level agreements and grant funding such as Sherwood and Newark Citizens Advice, Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire Credit Union, Home-Start, Rough Sleeper Initiative Partnership and the Furniture Project.

The this year that figure is set to be £236,278 and it will rise to £240,767 for 2024/25.

The funding will be aligned directly with the priorities within the new strategy.

The strategy was supported and welcomed by councillors at the district council’s cabinet meeting on Tuesday (February 20).

Do you think this will work? Tell us your views in the comments below...

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