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Mid Sussex District Council has produced a new strategy to prevent homelessness and help homeless people find long-term affordable and sustainable housing.
The new Homelessness and Rough Sleeper Strategy was presented to the Council’s Scrutiny Committee for Housing, Planning and Economic Development on 22 January 2020. At the meeting, Committee Members recommended that the strategy be formally adopted by Full Council on 1 April 2020.
The new Homelessness and Rough Sleeper Strategy identifies 5 key priorities for addressing homelessness within Mid Sussex:
1) Preventing and relieving homelessness
The most effective way to minimise the impact of homelessness is to prevent it occurring in the first place. The Council helps residents at risk to ensure they are receiving all the benefits and support to which they are entitled. When homelessness cannot be avoided, Rent in Advance and Deposit Guarantee Schemes can help local people to find somewhere new. Over the last 5 years, Mid Sussex District Council has helped over 470 households obtain housing through the private rented sector.
2) Minimise the use of and improve temporary accommodation
Being in temporary accommodation can be a stressful experience, particularly if the accommodation is located away from support networks, health care, employment and schools. The Council is committed to providing more temporary accommodation within Mid Sussex and enabling households to move on to a settled home as soon as possible.
3) Prevent recurring homelessness
Housing Officers work with people in temporary accommodation to ensure that appropriate support is provided, either by the Council or an external agency. The Council’s Employment Co-ordinator ensures households are receiving all the benefits they are entitled to and provides advice and assistance to enable them to find employment.
4) Tackling rough sleeping and homelessness amongst vulnerable groups
The Council works with Turning Tides, which is a community led homelessness organisation that provides support to long-term rough sleepers and those new or at risk of rough sleeping.
5) Enable access to suitable and affordable accommodation
Mid Sussex District Council requires all new residential development over 11 units to provide 30% affordable housing. Last year the Council oversaw the delivery of 102 new affordable houses.
Councillor Andrew MacNaughton, Cabinet Member for Housing and Planning said:
“Homelessness, in all its forms, can have a significantly detrimental impact on people and their families. Health and wellbeing suffers, there’s a detrimental impact on educational achievement and homelessness can act as a barrier for those seeking and keeping employment.
“Our Homelessness and Rough Sleeper Strategy will help to ensure that fewer people in Mid Sussex experience the trauma of homelessness and that those who do can find a settled home as quickly as possible.”
For more information contact the Mid Sussex Housing Needs team on 01444 477574 or email email@example.com