Homelessness is the most acute form of housing need. A person can be legally classed as homeless if they are living on the street, sleeping on a friend's sofa, staying in a hostel and suffering from overcrowding or other bad conditions. To prevent homelessness, it's important to recognise that there's a wide range of groups vulnerable to homelessness, with young people as a key concern.
What do we know?
In Shropshire there was an increase of 95 acceptances for homelessness in 2010/11 compared to 2009/10. Acceptances for females appear higher than acceptances for males, with 43.9% of acceptances being female lone parents. Also 15.4% of lone person applications came from females, compared to 14.5% from males. Around 18% of acceptances were from couples with dependent children. Acceptances for homelessness appear to be greater for people in younger age groups being higher than those in older groups, e.g. over a third of acceptances were for people aged 16-24 years old.
The keys reasons for homelessness in Shropshire identified through the recent Homelessness Review remain the same: they are parental or family exclusions, relationship breakdowns and the loss of private rented accommodation. Unfortunately, in keeping with the trend nationally, Shropshire Council has seen a substantial increase in homelessness presentations over the last two financial years. This new Homelessness Strategy for Shropshire attached below aims to address these key issues through adopting an action plan focused on enabling those in housing need to seek out their own sustainable housing solutions and to ensure better outcomes for households when homelessness cannot be prevented.
What can we do?
The following highlights some cost effective ways of preventing homelessness:
- Housing advice - including working with private landlords and identifying high risk groups
- Facilitating access to private tenancies – including rent deposit schemes
- Family mediation services – including reconciling relationships, especially between young people and their families
- Preventing homelessness through domestic violence victim support – including sanctuary schemes
- Prison based homelessness prevention – including close collaboration between prison and external housing services and peer involvement schemes
- Tenancy sustainment services – including help with benefits, budgeting, debt management, etc.
- Adopt the Government’s ‘No Second Night Out’ approach to relieving and preventing rough sleeping throughout the county
- Focus on prevention of homelessness through earlier intervention and collaborative working with all partners as endorsed through the Government’s Gold Standard for housing options and homelessness services
Call us on 0345 678 9005 if you're homeless and in need of help.Last updated: 11 July 2016 Print this page