12 September 2019 Housing and homelessness

Setting out support for homelessness & rough sleeping

Councillors will be asked to give approval for work to begin on the Homelessness & Rough Sleeping Strategy 2020 to 2025 at next week's Housing Committee. 

The strategy will look at the how best to help some of the most vulnerable people in Brighton & Hove and what more can be done. 

The first stage will be to organise a wide ranging consultation to build on the plans already in place and look to the future.

The proposed strategy brings together two existing lines of work. 

The current Homelessness Strategy 2014 to 2019 was our third Homelessness Strategy. It set out the agreed approach to responding to and preventing homelessness.

The initial Rough Sleeping strategy was developed in 2016 to 2020 in collaboration with partners across the city. Shared objectives, agreed by agencies across the city, help to shape the activities and make a positive difference.

Welfare first approach

Councillor John Allcock, the chair of housing, said: “The recent dramatic rise in homelessness across the UK is symbolic of national policy failure and the fraying of the social fabric. It is a sign that, as a society, we are allowing people to fall through the cracks. 

“A lot has changed in the last few years and we are determined to provide support for those who are unfortunate enough to be homeless, by giving them respect, dignity and help in their struggle to find a home. 

“We’ve brought in a lot of new support to help people to move off the streets and lower figures in our latest street counts show this is helping, but we are determined to do more.

“We’ll be looking at how our new strategy can tie all the support together and deliver on our promises. We’re taking a welfare first approach.

“The homeless of Brighton & Hove are our citizens and our neighbours and everyone should have a right to a home.”

Councillor David Gibson, the opposition lead for housing, added: “It’s a scandal that one of the six richest nations in the world cannot tackle rough sleeping. That’s why both Greens and Labour have pledged to work with partners in our city to bring an end to it.

"This includes providing a 365 day night shelter, achieving an extra 1500 affordable homes over the next four years and expanding housing first support for the most vulnerable homeless people. 

"Nearly a decade of Conservative Government cuts have taken their toll – and their failed policies have created what they themselves describe as 'a broken housing market.' 

"We hope that the combined homeless and rough sleeping strategy will move us closer towards ensuring safe and affordable homes for all.”

The plans follow recognised good practice around reviewing and updating strategies. The review is also in line with a government requirement to review, rewrite and combine the homelessness and rough sleeping strategies by April 2020.

Help in Brighton & Hove

More like this

Councillor Nichole Brennan

Rough sleeper services announced

A range of services for people who are rough sleeping were announced at full council on 25 July. The meeting heard that Labour and Green colleagues will be working in partnership to deliver more help to those in need on our streets.