Briefing on Exeter’s City Council’s Draft Homeless Strategy

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The joint Exeter City and Teignbridge District Council Homelessness Strategy 2016 to 2021 sets out how the two councils, and their partners, will work together to address homelessness over the next five years. The strategy will look at our vision in addressing homelessness and will set out the actions we intend to take to help us reach our goals. It contains a review of the main challenges ahead and highlights key areas of positive work that we are currently delivering.

This is a wide-ranging and ambitious strategy that will require both councils to work together and continue to be open to new ways of tackling issues. . By working together with partners and stakeholders, we can better tackle homelessness and address some of its root causes, whilst maximising resources and delivering a better service.

One of the problems at present there are a number of organisations, agencies, partners and charities working in the area of addressing homelessness.

For example in the area of health provision there are 6 statutory agencies responsible for commissioning in this area, along with numerous grant aiding bodies and over 20 bodies delivering help. This leads to a mosaic of health provision which that strategy looks towards joining up in a more coherent fashion.

So working in partnership is key to the success of the strategy. We will continue to engage with the larger national organisations to provide context, as well as maintain and develop conversations with the smaller local organisations to develop a more joined up set of values and objectives. The strategy aims to develop these values and goals in recognition of national, regional and local policy and proposes a vision for the benefit of all our residents, stakeholders and partners.

The strategy combines both councils’ five year plan to prevent homelessness and improve the experience of those who become homeless locally. It is a call to action to partners and stakeholders to help us deliver, and develop, a more joined-up service to address homelessness in the area.

This strategy looks to deliver our services from a client, or customer, point of view and has been themed to reflect the broad range of work that we do to address homelessness. In this way we hope to break away from a department led approach.

The main themes are:
A Place to Live

This theme reviews the supply of accommodation in the local area and whether it is used effectively to meet local housing need.

2. Access to Services
This theme looks at how we offer services and engage with homeless people.

3. Health and Protection
This theme outlines how health and homelessness impact upon each other as well as the importance of protecting vulnerable people from violence and abuse.

4. Money Matters
This theme considers the financial pressures on local people facing in housing need and the wider homelessness sector

To ensure our strategic aims are linked to local needs they are framed within our themes

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The consultation document goes into more detail,  outlining a proposed action plan which will be reviewed and refreshed annually to keep the strategy relevant.

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