Watford Borough Council has published its draft five year strategy on homelessness and rough sleeping and is seeking resident and stakeholder feedback on the proposed plans.
The 2020-25 strategy, which has been created in conjunction with Watford’s Strategic Homelessness Forum sets out a mission for Watford to be a place where no-one needs to sleep rough and there is support available for everyone threatened with or actually homeless.
Cllr Stephen Johnson, Portfolio Holder for Housing and Property said “Watford’s 2020-25 Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy has been formulated within a context of a lack of affordable housing locally and the impact of national welfare reform and austerity policies. These factors have resulted, in its most stark form, in an increased level of street homelessness evident to local Watford residents. This strategy sets out how preventing homelessness is one of the key priorities for the council and how various initiatives will reduce the number of rough sleepers on our streets”.
The strategy’s focus is on preventing homelessness from happening in the first place by tackling the root causes and by improving access to affordable housing. Its other key priority is to respond to rough sleeping by providing a range of services that are tailored to the needs of homeless households and homeless vulnerable adults.
Watford residents and other key stakeholders are being asked to read the strategy and share their views with the council on the proposals and any other suggestions they have that are not already covered in the document.
Key initiatives that will support the successful delivery of the strategy include the development of a Single Persons Homeless Hub in Watford, building more social rented homes in Watford and continuously improving services to homeless households.
Elected Mayor Peter Taylor said “Ending rough sleeping in Watford is something that really matters to lots of us. Working together with local charities, businesses, the police and many others we have been making progress but more needs to be done. This strategy sets out an ambitious agenda for the next five years. We want to prevent homelessness happening and provide even more effective services for homeless households and vulnerable adults”.
The consultation ends on 22 March 2020.
To read the strategy and to share your views on it please go to www.watford.gov.uk/homelessness