Reviewing and planning to prevent homelessness in West Berkshire
We undertake a Homelessness Review [279kb] in our district at least every five years, and develop a Homelessness Strategy [177kb] in response.
We adopted a new Homelessness Strategy in 2013 and, in line with the national agenda, it focuses on early intervention and prevention.
Although we provide strategic leadership, tackling homelessness is not West Berkshire Council's responsibility alone. Many different services and organisations contribute towards preventing it. Our Homelessness Strategy recognises this and takes account of the most effective and efficient ways that we can work together with our partners to provide joined-up ways to help.
Our 2012 review highlighted three emerging issues that need to be addressed through the Homelessness Strategy.
- the impact of the ongoing welfare reforms
- the increasing difficulty in accessing private rented accommodation, both because of welfare reform and prices in the district
- the concentration of young families (aged 24 years and under) who are asked to leave their home by their family or friends
After reviewing housing need, assessing the likely impact of the government's welfare reforms and consulting widely with stakeholders, the Homelessness Strategy identified five priorities.
- Continue to work to prevent homelessness and sustain tenancies
- Manage the negative impacts of welfare and housing reforms
- Make best use of the district's housing stock
- Improve the life chances of homeless people
- Proactively work with our partners to provide a co-ordinated approach to tackling and preventing homelessness
There's a detailed Action Plan [53kb] that supports the Homelessness Strategy and identifies specific projects or actions that will help to prevent and to tackle the causes of homelessness.