Homelessness update on local action plan
A report showing how Flintshire County Council is supporting the reduction of homelessness will be discussed by Cabinet Members on Tuesday, 16 July.
North Wales’ Councils have together developed a regional strategy and action plan.
The Homelessness Strategy objectives are to prevent homelessness and ensure suitable accommodation and satisfactory support is available for those who are homeless. The region has agreed to the common themes of People, Homes and Services and each Council has developed its own local action plan based on the themes.
Housing has been a priority for Flintshire County Council for many years and much work has been done to prevent homelessness. Some of the work underway includes:
- Analysing the reasons behind homelessness.
- Developing a theatre production for schools to raise the profile of the risks of homelessness for young people.
- Applying for funding for a youth worker to create a more integrated youth provision and more support to young people faced with homelessness.
- Emergency bed provision – a scheme piloted in 2018 has been extended to 2020 to help rough sleepers.
- An outreach worker is successfully working with those who are street homeless or accessing the emergency bed provision and the worker is linked to Streetlink - a service which enables members of the public to report people rough sleeping.
- Last year 8.7% of homelessness was directly linked to prison leavers. Flintshire now has a dedicated worker who has been successful in working with prisoners before their release to reduce the risk of them becoming homeless on release.
- In 2018/19, the Housing Solutions team dealt with 41% of applicants who presented with mental health concerns. The service is now working with colleagues in Adult Social Services to secure the provision of a Mental Health Worker in the Housing Solutions Team.
- Work has commenced on securing funding for a Housing First Pilot in Flintshire.
- Improved access to accommodation continues with a wide spectrum of work the Council’s commitment to building more social housing, and by doing so, increasing the availability in the private rented sector.
- A full review of temporary accommodation used by the Housing Solutions Team for homeless applicants.
The Council has recently entered into a contract with HAWS Letting Agency. HAWS will be working with the Housing Solutions Team on a number of key areas, including a review of applicants currently in temporary accommodation and assistance to move onto suitable accommodation.
Flintshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing, Councillor Dave Hughes, said:
“Flintshire County Council is committed, with our partners across the region, to tackle homelessness in all its forms. The Council is also offering services to help prevent homelessness, such as the Preventing Evictions pilot scheme which was launched in November 2018 which is proving to be extremely successful.
“As a result of the pilot will now be rolled out to all of the Income Team and Supporting People Team to ensure the success of the pilot is shared across services and becomes an established way of working.”