Page added on November 19, 2012
A consultation has been launched to gather views on the city council’s homeless services strategy for 2013 – 2018.
The council reviews its strategy every five years in order to make sure it meets current needs, balanced with the budget the Government has made available to the council to deliver this.
The strategy has been compiled from the findings of a review of homeless services, which took place between March and September 2012. This was done in partnership with a range of voluntary, community and faith sector representatives.
One of the key issues the review highlighted was the need for the service to focus more on getting people into long-term accommodation as soon as possible, rather than keeping them in temporary accommodation. While essential in a crisis, short-term, temporary accommodation is not solving the long-term problem of homelessness.
As a result, one of the main objectives of the new strategy is to focus on prevention in order to break the cycle of homelessness.
Assistant City Mayor for housing, Cllr Mohammed Dawood, said: “The Homelessness Review established that services are in need of modernisation.
“For some single people there is currently a culture of crisis and rescue – but we need to move away from this and towards a culture of helping people to avoid or move out of homelessness as quickly as possible. We have also found that a hostel environment is not always conducive to achieving positive changes for people.
“We want to tailor the services so that they are the most effective and beneficial for homeless people, whilst being set against a reduction in Government grants.”
The Council’s Homeless Services budget for 2012/13 is £6.61m. This will reduce by £1.16m from 2013/14. Further savings will also be required during the next few years as Government grants continue to reduce.
The consultation will run until 16th February 2013 and once closed, the comments will be considered along with the strategy, before a final decision is made by the executive.
The consultation questionnaire is available on line at: consultations.leicester.gov.uk. Alternatively, paper copies are available at all Neighborhood Housing Offices and from the Housing Options Centre, in Phoenix House, Welford Place.
A number of meetings and workshops will also be held with stakeholders as part of the consultation process – these will be advertised nearer the time.