Tackling homelessness in Haringey
In partnership with homelessness charities and community and voluntary groups, the council has pledged to take further action to reduce homelessness and rough sleeping in Haringey.
Haringey has the third highest levels of homelessness in the country, with almost 3,000 households currently living in temporary accommodation. As with other London boroughs, Haringey has seen numbers of people rough sleeping rise in recent years, reaching the highest numbers recorded in the borough in 2017/18. The pressures on people who are struggling has been exacerbated in recent years by changes to the welfare system, rising private sector rents, increasing house prices and cuts to council budgets. A new Homelessness Reduction Act comes into force in April that places extra responsibilities on local authorities to tackle the issue.
Last night, the council’s Cabinet agreed that the scale of this challenge requires a new approach. Commitments outlined at last night’s Cabinet meeting include intervening earlier to prevent homelessness; increasing the supply of accommodation available; and working more closely with people living in temporary housing to help them find a permanent home. All of this will be done in close partnership with homelessness charities and community and voluntary groups.
Steps to further reduce rough sleeping in Haringey - and to tackle the harm it causes to individuals and local communities - will include rapid intervention to help people off the street; support to improve health and wellbeing; and measures to tackle challenging issues such as begging, street drinking and drug taking.
Cllr Alan Strickland, Haringey Council Cabinet Member for Housing, Regeneration and Planning said:
It is appalling that anyone has to sleep rough on the streets in the 21st century. We know that levels of rough sleeping and homelessness in Haringey are unacceptably high, and we are committed to doing more to tackle the root causes.
Preventing homelessness is a complex challenge and there are no easy answers. These new strategies will see us working closely with charities and community groups to meet challenges together, intervening to prevent homelessness and supporting people who are homeless, or at risk of become so, to forge a more stable future.
Some of the partners the council proposes to work with to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping include Homes for Haringey and other housing providers, local Neighbourhood Watch schemes, mental health services and charities such as Thames Reach and St Mungo’s. The council is committed to helping local groups, organisations and individuals mobilise their efforts in a co-ordinated way to tackle the blight of homelessness and rough sleepers together.
Other measures set out in the Homelessness and Rough Sleeping strategies include extended licensing of private rented homes to increase the quality of these properties, and developing eviction protocols with private landlords. Personal Housing Plans will be developed for anyone threatened with homelessness and the council will co-ordinate more widely with services including Job Centre Plus, Children’s Centres and Citizens Advice to identify people likely to be facing housing issues in the future.
The council also proposes to review levels of under-occupation in its housing stock, root out tenancy fraud and sub-letting and work with people living in temporary accommodation to develop a personalised and realistic ‘move on’ plan to help them into their own homes.
You can read the full Homelessness and Rough Sleeping strategies here.
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