Durham Councillors to review homelessness strategy

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Councillors will be asked to consider a new public consultation strategy in hopes of reducing homelessness and rough sleeping in Durham. 

The meeting, set to take place Wednesday 11 October, will focus on how Durham County can work together to combat homelessness and rough sleeping. The council hopes to gain the public’s perspective on their four priorities, which were drawn up as a result of a consultation earlier this year.

The priorities are to prevent people from being homeless, improve access to and supply of accommodation, ensure that appropriate support is available for people who are homeless, and reduce rough sleeping on the streets of Durham

Councillor Alan Shield, Cabinet Member for Equality and Inclusion, described the wide-ranging impact of homelessness. 

He said, “It is not just a lack of accommodation; homelessness can affect our physical and mental health and wellbeing, education achievement, ability to gain and sustain employment and puts pressure on personal and family relationships.” 

“It is often a long journey for an individual to build their life up again.”

He hopes that the proposed strategy acknowledges the current challenges Durham faces as a housing authority and can shed some light on how to tackle homelessness by focusing on prevention and early intervention. 

It is often a long journey for an individual to build their life up again

Cllr alan shield

If approved, County Durham residents, key partners and stakeholders will have the chance to share their thoughts on the draft strategy when it goes out to consultation at the end of October. 

The consultation period will take place from 30 October to 18 December, running alongside the consultation on the proposed Housing Strategy Consultation.

A final version of the strategy will be brought back to Cabinet in March 2024 for final approval. 

Members can attend the meeting on 11 October either live or by watching the livestream on Youtube. The agenda and minutes are also available to the public to view. 

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