FOI Request - Strategy for Tackling & Preventing Homelessness
Please will you kindly tell me when your strategy for tackling & preventing homelessness was last reviewed & if a mapping & gapping exercise was carried out at that time & if identified any groups who were excluded in your community?
The overall aim of the Homelessness Strategy is “to prevent homelessness where possible, but when it does arise, to ensure that appropriate assistance and support is provided”. The Council’s Communities Committee has monitored the progress of the Homelessness Strategy and agreed the strategic direction of the strategy on an annual basis.
The Homelessness Strategy was last reviewed in 2015. This was a twofold process which involved:
- the review of the Homelessness Strategy Action Plan for 2014/15 and an update of the achievements of the Homelessness Strategy 2010 – 2015. These were reported to Communities Committee in May 2015; and
- the development of a further strategy for 2015 – 2018. A draft strategy was presented to the Communities Committee in August 2015. Thereafter a consultation was undertaken and a final draft was presented for agreement and implementation in October 2015. Although the completion of a Homelessness Strategy is now optional for local authorities, the Moray Council and its partners saw real benefits from having such a strategy in place. It was agreed that when the Homelessness Strategy ends in 2018, it is merged with the Local Housing Strategy.
The actions identified focus on delivering the strategic objectives combined with issues that have been highlighted from annual data trends for housing options, homelessness, housing support and temporary accommodation. Again, these trends are monitored, analysed and reported to the Council’s Communities Committee.
As part of the strategy development an Equalities Impact Assessment was undertaken. This identified that homeless applications only collate basic equalities information (age, ethnicity, gender, disability) which has been used to develop the strategy. No direct demographic data of homeless service users pertaining to all of the characteristics protected under the Equality Act 2010 is available. At present it is felt that service users are not confident enough to disclose sensitive information such as religion or belief, sexual orientation, gender reassignment. No negative impacts on groups were identified. No groups were identified as being “excluded in our community.”
Copies of the above reports can be accessed here: