District Council reaffirms its commitment to supporting homeless people and preventing rough sleeping

Posted on: Thursday, February 22, 2024

The District Council understands that homelessness is a complex issue and a sad reality for some residents in the district. Therefore, they have introduced a new Homelessness Prevention and Rough Sleeper Strategy, which will see a person-centred approach to creating sustainable solutions based on individuals' needs and aspirations.

At the core of the strategy are six priorities which will underpin the District Council's approach to the development and delivery of homelessness services in Newark and Sherwood:

  • 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.
  • Tackle rough sleeping by developing and improving pathways.
  • Linking homelessness, health, wellbeing, 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.

To ensure these six priorities are delivered, the District Council will develop a delivery plan with key stakeholders, carry out annual reviews, monitor the local, regional, and national context, and ensure robust data analysis frameworks are in place.

Councillor Lee Brazier, Portfolio Holder for Housing at Newark and Sherwood District Council said: "It is always devastating to hear that we have residents in the district who are homeless or are facing the prospect of losing their home. However, we must acknowledge that it is a sad reality in our society and that homelessness has a substantial impact on the lives of those affected – for some, homelessness and rough sleeping can be a result of more long-established and complex issues, including trauma, mental health, offending and substance use, often resulting in inequality, poverty, poor health and wellbeing. 

"Therefore, our strategy sets out how we aim to create an environment where people lead safe and healthy lifestyles, ensuring suitable housing for all. 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.

"We also understand that this is an incredibly complex issue, and we cannot do this alone; therefore, our strategic delivery plan will be developed in partnership with other providers as part of our commitment to working together to tackle homelessness.

"The District Council has done a lot of good to help prevent rough sleeping. In the last six years, we have improved access to and sustainment of tenancies, enabled Sherwood and Newark Citizens Advice to provide a Debt and Welfare Advice Service, developed a homeless prevention programme in secondary schools with the help of Broxtowe Youth Homelessness, and introduced the Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire Credit Union Service. We've also developed additional supported housing for rough sleepers with higher and more complex needs following a successful bid to the Next Steps Accommodation Programme and the delivery of Alexander Lodge, a new temporary accommodation provision – to name a few! This strategy will build on these successes to ensure every resident in Newark and Sherwood facing the realities of homelessness gets the support they need.

"The District Council remains absolutely committed to preventing rough sleeping wherever we can and to making sure people are living in safe conditions. If you find yourself with nowhere to live or are at risk of being made homeless, please get in touch with us on 01636 650000 so we can help."

The production of a Homelessness Strategy is a statutory requirement under the Homelessness Act 2002, and this new strategy follows the existing Homeless Prevention and Rough Sleeper Strategy from 2019.