Tackling homelessness top priority in East Lindsey

East Lindsey District Council has signed up to a new strategy to deal with homelessness across the county.

The Lincolnshire Homelessness Strategy Group, made up of councils across the County, launched the plan last week, following a review of the issue.

The strategy sets out the priorities for the next five years which include developing alternative emergency and longer term options for young people such as crash bed schemes instead of bed and breakfasts.

The new proposals not only deal with council services but also those provided by other organisations that work with people who are homeless.

Coun William Gray, from East Lindsey District Council, said: “In this challenging economic climate, with growing unemployment and imminent changes to housing benefit, tackling homelessness is our top priority.

“I applaud all our partners for their input into this strategy, which demonstrates we all share the same aim. It will act as a great prevention tool for homelessness across the whole county.”

The group is made up of South Holland District Council, North Kesteven District Council, South Kesteven District Council, Boston Borough Council, East Lindsey District Council, City of Lincoln, West Lindsey District Council and Lincolnshire County Council plus approximately 25 practitioners from across the statutory and voluntary sectors.

Additionally, the group has recently welcomed Rutland County Council into its strong partnership to deliver a sub regional approach to tackling rough sleeping and non priority homelessness.

Lincolnshire’s unique partnership has prevented 2,314 from becoming homeless in 11/12, 548 in East Lindsey.

The group is now being used as a ‘best practice model’ across the East Midlands by the Department for Communities and Local Government and the national charity, Homeless Link.

Homeless Link regional manager for the East Midlands said: “The partnership is unique in the East Midlands region and one of the better ones nationally.

“I regularly use the group as a model of good practice when talking about how two tier authorities should work in partnership to develop and deliver real change making services across authority boundaries.

“I have found it a real pleasure to be working with such a forward looking and innovative partnership that is really committed to making a difference to the lives of the most vulnerable amongst us.”

The new strategy will also focus on: Homeless prevention; Partnership working; Welfare and Policy Reform; Young People; Rough Sleepers.

These themes were identified through consultation, the analysis of current provision, government guidelines and in response to significant changes that will affect Lincolnshire.