Spelthorne Borough Council has launched a public consultation regarding the draft framework of our new Homelessness Strategy, which will address homelessness and rough sleeping in Spelthorne for 2020 to 2025. The consultation will run from Monday 2 December to midday Monday 13 January.
The overall aims of the strategy are to ensure nobody sleeps rough in Spelthorne, ending the use of bed and breakfast accommodation, reducing the length of time people stay in temporary accommodation, increase the use of the private sector for homelessness prevention and investing in staff training and development to improve the Housing Options service.
You can view further details on how we aim to achieve this and also the consultation https://consult.spelthorne.gov.uk/consult.ti/DraftHomelessnessStrategy/ Hard copies are also available at the Council Offices in Staines-upon-Thames, as well as at all local libraries, so that residents without internet access will be able to feed into the consultation.
Cllr Maureen Attewell said: "We have taken steps to reduce and prevent homelessness in Spelthorne and this latest strategy is designed to tackle these challenges further. We want to ensure all Spelthorne residents have their own roof over their heads at night and are not relying on the kindness of friends and family to keep them off the streets."
Homelessness comes in many forms. Rough sleeping for instance, is an extreme form of homelessness and isn't just about people sleeping rough on the streets. There are others who sleep in their cars or who are sofa surfing. While the number of rough sleepers in Spelthorne fluctuates, it is thought that around 10 people are sleeping rough in the Borough at any one time. The Council's Housing Options team has an active caseload of over 250 households, two thirds of which are families. There are currently over 100 households in bed and breakfast or temporary accommodation, of which a quarter are outside of Spelthorne. Earlier this year, Spelthorne Council successfully bid for the Government's Rough Sleeper Initiative funding and appointed a Rough Sleeper Coordinator and Outreach Officer to help homeless people find suitable accommodation. This scheme has helped find accommodation for 11 rough sleepers since July this year.
In September, the Council received the go-ahead to build a hostel for up to 31 single homeless people on Kingston Road in Ashford. Plans are also underway to rebuild Harper House on Fordbridge Road in Ashford, to provide emergency accommodation for up to 20 families. The target completion date is 2021.
An online questionnaire and more information is available https://consult.spelthorne.gov.uk/consult.ti/DraftHomelessnessStrategy/, however if you wish to e-mail us with your thoughts and suggestions on these issues, email email@example.com or post your thoughts to the council offices marking it for the attention of Housing Strategy and Policy Team, Housing Options.
If you are concerned about a person who may be sleeping rough, or if you are going through difficult times that cause you to be concerned about losing your home, please report this to Spelthorne Council by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 01784 446 380. Alternatively, visit the StreetLink website: www.streetlink.org.uk