Praise for plans to tackle rough sleeping in Hartlepool

Councillors have praised support in place to help stop homeless residents in Hartlepool “falling through the net” as the latest plans for tackling rough sleeping in the area were agreed.

Monday, 15th November 2021, 4:52 pm
A homeless person sleeping rough in a doorway.

Hartlepool Borough Council Finance and Policy Committee this week approved the ‘Homelessness Reduction and Rough Sleeping Strategy for 2021-24’.

Consultation had been carried out over the strategy, including with two adults who have experienced homelessness, to allow them to share their stories in order to help shape future services.

Speaking at the meeting, Cllr Brenda Harrison praised the work being carried out and steps already in place, adding she was proud of the support offered in Hartlepool.

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She said: “I think that the fact that we have people on a 24 hours basis helping people where necessary is really good.

“It’s not the same everywhere and it hasn’t been the same in the past.

“I know some people still get through that net a little bit, but I do believe that the team involved does its utmost to help make sure people do not get through that net.”

Cllr Shane Moore, council leader, added the team does “great work” and it’s positive to see measures in place to support residents in Hartlepool.

Council officers said they had “quite a good response” to the consultation over the strategy, with 38 responses, including more than a dozen from members of the Homelessness Prevention Partnership.

Key objectives of the new strategy include preventing and relieving homelessness, ending rough sleeping, supporting complex adults and providing temporary accommodation, while supporting people to move on and increase housing options.

The strategy will also take into consideration the outcome of a planned Audit and Governance Committee investigation into aspects of poor housing schemes in Hartlepool.

This will be included in the committee’s 2022/23 work programme, or earlier if time permits, after being approved by full council in September.

The strategy outlines how “typically single people make the largest number of homeless applications – usually more men than women”.

It adds one-bedroom accommodation “is by far in greatest demand” and the individuals tend to be in the 18 – 54 years age bracket, with more than half of them being 18-34 years of age.

The strategy also looks at the reasons for homelessness from April 2020 to March 2021, with families no longer being willing or able to accommodate individuals “by far the biggest reason” for referrals.

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