Issue - meetings
Update on the Management of the Homeless Legislation Within the Housing (Wales) Act 2014
(a) That the update on the management of the new legislation within the Housing (Wales) Act 2014 be noted;
(b) That the emerging themes within the Regional Homeless Strategy, and challenges that the Council had faced finding suitable housing options for households and the plans to mitigate further risks be supported;
(c) That the proposals to alleviate homelessness in the County be supported; and
(d) That the Regional Homeless Strategy and Action Plan be submitted to a future meeting of the Committee, for consideration, prior to adoption by Cabinet.
The Customer Support Manager introduced a report which provided an update on how the requirements of the new Homelessness Legislation within the Housing (Wales) Act 2014 were being met and some of the projected challenges that faced the Council.
In 2017/18 the Council saw an increase in the number of households presenting at risk of homelessness and increased use of temporary accommodation. The Council was committed to prevent rough sleeping and had worked to model the services and grant funding to mitigate the risk of increased temporary accommodation costs, as detailed within the report. The focus of the Housing Options Team, wherever possible, was to prevent homelessness and enable a household to remain in their home and to achieve a successful homeless prevention outcome the service needed a supply of housing options that were affordable, and could be made available to households accessing the service. The shortage of available options had been highlighted as a growing issues within the Flintshire Homeless Review and would be a focus of the action plan and the initiatives, as detailed within the report.
The Customer Support Manager provided a detailed update on the challenges facing the Council, as outlined within the report, which focused around:-
· The Social Housing Register;
· Increasing the Availability of Private Rented Sector Properties;
· Interim Accommodation;
· Preventing Rough Sleepers;
· Single Households; and
· Vulnerable and Complex Needs
In conclusion, the Customer Support Manager reported that in June 2016, the Heads of Housing of all six North Wales Local Authorities together with the Chartered Institute of Housing Cymru, undertook a commitment to work together to develop a regional homelessness strategy. The strategic approach, as detailed in the report would be presented to Cabinet at the end of the current financial year as the Regional Homelessness Strategy and each North Wales Local Authority was developing its own local action plan based on the priorities of the regional strategy.
The Chief Officer (Housing and Assets) commented on the need to increase the availability of Private Rented Sector properties and advised that the Council needed to be mindful of construction works starting at Wylfa Newydd, Anglesey which could have a negative impact on private rented accommodation if there wasn’t enough availability in Anglesey and Conwy. He said that it was vital that house building continued across Flintshire through the Strategic Housing and Regeneration Programme (SHARP) as the Council remained one of the few Local Authority’s building new social housing accommodation.
The Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Housing advised that Cabinet had considered the report in the morning but any comments from Members during the meeting would be fed back to Cabinet and taken on board. He advised that the Council provided support to people who presented themselves as homeless through the provision of temporary accommodation but it was important that Welsh Government continued to provide funding to ensure the continued use of temporary accommodation.
The Chairman welcomed the reduction in the use of bed and breakfast accommodation. Councillor George Hardcastle echoed the comments ... view the full minutes text for item 19