Agenda item

Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy - Graham Jones and David Ingerslev

Minutes:

Graham Jones and David Inerslev gave a presentation on the Rough Sleeping Strategy.  This strategy was due for publication but has been delayed to make sure it is fit for purpose. It follows from the rough sleeping roadmap contained in the resilient city strategy. Modelling is based on a short term funding cycle every 1 or 2 years. The headline strategy is to make more affordable homes. It is a statutory duty to produce this strategy.

 

Rough sleeping count is ever increasing. 2013 – Mar 2018 hot spot counts are used as a general guide. 5 years ago between 10 /20 rough sleepers, now between 50/90. Bristol is very similar to Manchester. Both core cities with high level visual representations in centres. Brighton has similar issues with lack of available housing. More women as a proportion are sleeping rough in Bristol. Temporary accommodation shows an upward trend. This includes increasing numbers of individuals with no recourse to public funds. Part 7 acceptance is dropping. Increased disparity between LHA and private sector rental rates.

 

Strategy has 5 priorities: rough sleeping, prevention, health and wellbeing, equalities and working in partnership. Feel like we have lost link to social care. The strategy is a living document, requires updates every year to report into central government. Due date is now April Cabinet 2019.

 

The social housing lettings figures worrying. In 2008 we let 3000 per year in 2018 this has dropped to 1815. New property available is falling. How do we get up? Not just about new build. These figures went to central government 2 weeks ago. They will be very robust about monitoring us as a top 5 city for homeless. Bristol perceived as good collaborative environment. Mayor is having joint meeting next week with groups, especially those not currently engaged.

 

Temporary Accommodation is expensive as it costs beyond what can be clawed back on housing benefit. Looking at having properties on standby as would be cheaper. Doing some viability tests for temporary or modular schemes. No single solution, but want to lower cost and improve supply. Proposals are going through decision pathway now. Next financial year for property purchase scheme. Want to avoid placing out of area at great cost.

 

There was a discussion on forming a list of subjects to lobby central government, based on what local authorities / central government are able to do. This should be placed on the agenda for the 21 March BHB ACTION

 

Minimum tenure for tenancies needs to be extended. 6 months at moment, suggestion is 3 years. About long term is security – do I know I can live here for certain amount of time. E.g. put kids through school.

 

Churn rate on council housing is low. Void is 300 out of 27000 properties. With borrowing cap released, BCC should look at poor quality stock and whether we should replace. Demolish and rebuild to improve overall stock. Empty properties are actually low in the city. Bring around 500 back on to market per year. Some properties are not fit for purpose.

 

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