Sandwell Council’s new cabinet will set a clear course of action when it considers a new homelessness and rough sleeping strategy.
The strategy aims to provide warm, safe and sustainable homes which are vital to a good quality of life.
The vision for the strategy is to prevent homelessness and rough sleeping and, where people find themselves homeless, make sure their housing needs can be met. The key priorities for the strategy will be:
- Preventing homelessness
- Improving communication, education and engagement
- Enhancing housing options
- Improving partnership, collaboration and the whole system
- Eliminating rough sleeping
- Making best use of resources.
Under the Homelessness Act 2002, councils are required to produce a homelessness review and strategy at least every five years. Sandwell Council last adopted a homelessness strategy in April 2018. In partnership with Sandwell’s Homelessness Partnership, officers have reviewed and produced the new strategy for 2022-2027.
Consultation was carried out on the proposed strategy from December 2021 to February 2022, with feedback and input received from a range of partner organisations. Councillor Charn Singh Padda, Sandwell Council’s cabinet member for housing, said:
“Our aim is that no one in Sandwell has to sleep rough. Living in a decent home is important for both physical and mental health.
“Our new strategy shows that Sandwell Council is strongly committed to preventing homelessness wherever possible and offering early help. The strategy will help people affected by homelessness to access affordable, safe and sustainable homes in the local community.”
The refreshed strategy will build on achievements of the current strategy, which has:
- Reduced the use of temporary accommodation and bed and breakfast – despite the impact of Covid-19 and ending of the freeze on private rented sector evictions – the number in temporary accommodation has reduced by half from its peak
- Significantly increased access to the private rented sector to relieve homelessness
- Reduced rough sleeping over the last two years by supporting 100 rough sleepers, many of whom now have their own tenancies.
If you are homeless or threatened with homelessness, please call the council’s Housing Solutions Team on 0121 368 1166 (option 2). If you are at risk of losing your home, you can visit sandwell.gov.uk/homeless.