Trafford Council set to re-launch strategy to tackle homelessness

Trafford Council is set to re-launch a detailed strategy to tackle and prevent homelessness in the borough.

The Trafford Homelessness Strategy and Action Plan 2019-2024 will go before the Executive meeting at the Town Hall on Monday.

The proposed strategy aims to prevent homelessness and rough sleeping as well as ending the use of B&B accommodation with a priority to provide more good quality temporary housing. It would also seek to improve access to employment, education and training for the homeless and make health and wellbeing  a priority.

The Council’s current homelessness strategy was launched in 2015 and was successful in preventing 2,647 households from becoming homeless and providing a 20 per cent reduction in the number of people on the housing register. It also helped re-house 612 families into social housing and 515 in the private sector.

The new strategy, if approved, will help the homeless in a number of way including:

  • Establishing links and work in partnership with drug and alcohol services, health services, domestic abuse services and the VCSE sector to prevent homelessness. 
  • Exploring options to provide financial and budgeting training for existing tenants to prevent homelessness.
  • Ensuring additional support with Universal Credit and related benefits is available so people are aware of the benefits, how they can apply and also how to appeal.
  • Exploring options to bring back empty properties for use as temporary accommodation.
  • Providing ‘a bed every night’ throughout the year regardless of weather.
  • Exploring the opportunity to establish a ‘pay forward scheme’ with a local café or restaurant as an alternative to giving rough sleepers/beggars on the street.
  • Looking at the opportunity to establish a card service for rough sleepers to access money donated.
  • Exploring the opportunity of providing dedicated medical centre for homeless people.
  • Introducing a mobile health/therapy clinic that can take services directly to where it is needed.

Cllr Kevin Procter, Trafford Council’s Executive Member for Communities and Housing, said:

Tackling homelessness is one of the key challenges we face in Trafford. Demand for all types of accommodation has increased and supply has not managed to keep up. We have also seen the use of all forms of temporary accommodation increase at the same time. We are determined to meet these challenges and, as a direct result of the housing advice and options we are able to give, have managed to prevent homelessness for more households than actually became homeless.However, we know there is a lot more work to be done to prevent and tackle homelessness and we will work in partnership with Registered Providers, the Greater Manchester Mayor, our GM partners and others to achieve that objective.”

The Council’s Executive will be asked to approve the Trafford Homelessness Strategy and Draft Action Plan at the meeting on Monday.

Posted on Tuesday 12th March 2019