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Homelessness Strategy 2020-2025

Executive Summary

The Homelessness Strategy is underpinned by the Homelessness Act 2002 which requires every local authority to carry out a review of homelessness every 5 years and publish a strategy based on the results of the review.  This strategy is based on the findings of the homelessness review which is attached at Appendix 1.

The review of homelessness has highlighted the following 3 main reasons for people presenting as homeless to the Council:

  • Family and friends no longer willing to accommodate
  • Ending of Assured shorthold tenancies
  • Domestic Abuse

The main reasons for presentations locally reflect the regional and national picture. In order to address these priorities, the review identified a range of support needs and interventions in relation to domestic abuse, mental health, young people and physical health conditions which if tackled could have a positive impact on the number of homeless presentations to the Council.

South Ribble has few rough sleepers - normally between 2 and 3 rough sleepers are reported at the annual count undertaken through a snapshot on a single given night in the year. Where the council identifies verifiable rough sleepers, it has procedures in place to accommodate them where necessary.

Presentations from single people have increased and together single males and females make up the biggest group presenting as homeless to the Council, followed by lone females with children.  The main reason for a household having priority need is dependent children and it is likely that this trend will continue.

Benchmarking from the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has indicated that South Ribble is achieving a good split of prevention and relief duties i.e. more prevention duties are accepted than relief duties and that the prevention work which is undertaken is positive.  The percentage of cases relieved, however, are lower as a percentage of presentations and the snapshot indicates that the biggest group of people who disengage with the service are single people under 35, perhaps due to a lack of affordable options.

South Ribble as a Borough has a population comprising 79% home ownership - either outright or with a mortgage, 10.5% social rented stock and 9.3% private rented housing.  There is a lack of shared housing and affordability is an issue for the under 35's, particularly those under 25 and also larger households on benefits.

Social Housing lets have decreased slightly over the last 4 years and at time of writing the waiting list consisted of 1069 households.  The greatest demand is for 1 bedroomed accommodation and 1 and 2 bedroomed properties attract the most expressions of interest and have the longest waiting time. Affordability and the requirement for guarantors in the private sector are proving to be a barrier particularly for younger people.

People who are unemployed are the largest group presenting as homeless followed by those who are not seeking work for various reasons.

Within South Ribble 96% of all households presenting as homeless are UK nationals and the vast majority are recorded as White British reflecting the ethnic diversity of the borough.

The consultation undertaken during the homelessness review highlighted a number of services that exist to prevent homelessness however challenges and improvements to the way services are delivered were also identified which can be summarised as follows:


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