Watford Borough Council’s Cabinet has tonight (Monday 6 July) agreed a new and radical five-year plan to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping in the town...
The extensive action plan addresses all different types of homelessness, from families who have been evicted to single people with complex needs who are sleeping rough on our streets. Two priorities lie at the heart of the plan:
- Prevent homelessness
- Provide services to homeless households and vulnerable adults relevant to their needs
Elected Mayor of Watford Peter Taylor said: “Since becoming Mayor, ending rough sleeping in Watford has been a key priority for me. Because of the complexity of the issues around homelessness we know that accommodation on its own is not enough – people need support with a range of complicated issues to help them to turn their lives around. I have brought together and worked with a wide range of fantastic homeless charities in the town to find ways to help rough sleepers off the streets. We are a compassionate town and it’s so important we all work together to transform the lives of those experiencing homelessness in Watford. I am confident it will have a hugely positive impact on our town.”
Cllr Stephen Johnson, Portfolio Holder for Housing, added: “This strategy sets out how various initiatives will reduce the number of rough sleepers on our streets. But it’s important to note that the strategy is not just about rough sleepers. Safeguarding the health and wellbeing of children in the homeless households we help and enabling a stable future for them is also pivotal to the plan.”
Some of the fresh initiatives outlined in the new plan include:
- Developing a homelessness prevention package aimed at individual households which prioritises education, training and employment and understanding how to access the private rented sector.
- Opening a housing scheme in Watford for single people and couples without children who have been homeless and/or rough sleeping and who have complex needs.
- Developing Watford’s first Housing First scheme, aimed at entrenched rough sleepers who have struggled to reintegrate with society.
To hear more about Watford Borough Council’s bold new Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy, visit watford.gov.uk and follow Watford Council on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.