Views sought on Dudley homelessness prevention strategy

People can give their views on plans to help prevent homelessness across Dudley after the authority, which has a legal duty to help to prevent homelessness, published a draft strategy.

People are invited to read the strategy online and submit their comments before the strategy is finalised in the new year.

The draft strategy outlines the council’s priorities for the next two years, including keeping levels of homelessness as low as possible, minimising the use of and length of time spent in temporary accommodation, its aspiration to have zero rough sleepers and increasing the supply of affordable housing.

Within the draft strategy people can learn more about the work of the council’s homelessness prevention team and partners to support people who are either homeless or at risk of losing their home.

The team also supports those who appear homeless who often participate in begging in town centres, which can cause upset and alarm to other residents.

Many of the people begging are not actually rough sleepers and have homes to return to but, nevertheless, often require care and support with maintaining tenancies and accessing support services.

The team provides assistance to prevent rough sleeping. The strategy also outlines new services which have been introduced since the last strategy was published in 2021. This includes rough sleeper outreach services, new supported housing and an increase in advice, accommodation and support services. Councillor Laura Taylor-Childs, cabinet member for housing and safer communities, said:

"In the last 12 months, we have been contacted by 3,000 households who needed help. Each household is provided with bespoke advice and support and a plan is produced to help prevent or relieve homelessness.

"We have seen an increase in the number of households who are approaching us at the stage when they have already been threatened with eviction by their private landlord.

"This is also true for people who have been lodging with friends and relatives but have been asked to leave. We always advise people to seek alternative accommodation for themselves as soon as possible to avoid the risk of becoming homeless. In cases where people are unable to source alternative accommodation, then the earlier they approach us for advice, the more housing options are available.

"Please take action immediately and seek early help if needed. The strategy outlines how we will continue to help people and avoid the need for anyone to even consider sleeping rough on our streets. We know this is an issue people are passionate about, so please take the time to read our strategy and share your thoughts with us."

People can read the draft strategy  and submit any comments  by January 12, 2024. Dudley Council has a duty to try to either prevent or relieve homelessness under the Housing Act 1996.

To contact the homelessness prevention team, call 0300 555 2345. Anyone concerned that someone maybe rough sleeping, please call 0300 555 0030 or report their location.


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