Council approaches to preventing and reducing homelessness are making a difference

Published December 18, 2019 at 14:50

New stats show Rossendale Council’s approaches to reducing and preventing homelessness is making an impact.

The new stats were published as part of a review of how the Council was doing in implemented new legislation to tackle homelessness.

The Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 placed new legal duties on English councils so that everyone who is homeless, or at risk of homelessness, has access to meaningful help.

Work by the Council’s Housing Options team has been very successful compared to national, regional and sub-regional averages.

An internal benchmarking exercise has shown in the first year (2018/19), since the introduction of the new legislation, performance around preventing and relieving homelessness increased by 39 per cent.

Prevention and relief duties under the new legislation requires a local authority, who is satisfied that an applicant is homeless or threatened with homelessness, to take reasonable steps to help them avoid becoming homeless and to help them secure accommodation for at least six months.

Nationally and regionally there were around 50 per cent drops in successful prevention and reliefs.

The percentage of cases prevented was also far higher than other councils’ averages and statutory homelessness reduced by 90.5 per cent in Rossendale compared to around 50 per cent for England and the North West.

Councillor Steve Hughes, Portfolio Holder for Communities and Customers, said one of the Council’s top priorities is supporting the borough’s most vulnerable.

He added:

“These are very good results and show we are coping with the rigours of the act significantly better than the majority of other Local Authorities. This is due to our Housing Options team’s focus on homelessness prevention before the act and their preparation for and adaption to the new legislation. We must continue to work hard to help anyone who is at risk of homelessness.”

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