New homelessness strategy for Hastings

Cllr Kim Forward with partners
Cllr Kim Forward with partners

A new homelessness strategy for Hastings has been drawn up to tackle ‘new policy challenges’ from the government’s deficit reduction plans.

Hastings Borough Council has drawn up a new Homelessness Strategy 2016-2018 taking into account the welfare reform agenda and addressing rising homelessness in the area.

Deputy council leader and lead member for housing and communities Kim Forward said: “Homelessness is linked to a wide range of issues including mental health, crime and fear of crime, developmental problems, substance misuse, poor educational attainment and it could happen to anyone.

“The impact of homelessness on both individual households and the wider community cannot be underestimated.

“A combination of rising rents and a lack of affordable accommodation are making it increasingly difficult for local people, particularly some of the most vulnerable, to find accommodation suitable for their needs.

“It’s imperative therefore that the council works with partners to seek innovative solutions to address housing need and look at new ways of joint working to provide holistic solutions for vulnerable members of our community.

“I’m very pleased that we have now drawn up this new strategy with our partners to guide our actions through to 2018.”

The Homelessness Strategy 2016 -2018 outlines how the council will work with partners to tackle key issues, including rising levels of rough sleeping, the support needs of people with multiple complex needs, the poor health outcomes of homeless people and ‘substandard’ property and management standards in the private rented sector.

The council says it aims to work together with partners in health, housing, social care and related support services to meet three key strategic priorities: prevent and minimise homelessness, improve access to good quality, well-managed accommodation in the private rented sector and work jointly to deliver quality housing and support services.

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