Agenda and minutes

Cabinet Member for Housing and Tackling Homelessness - Thursday, 7th December, 2023 9.30 am

Venue: Council Chamber - The Guildhall, Portsmouth. View directions

Contact: Allison Harper, Local Democracy Officer - Tel: 023 9268 8014  Email: democratic@portsmouthcc.gov.uk

Webcast: View the webcast

Items
No. Item

24.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Amanda Buxley and Mark Broomer from the Residents Consortium.

25.

Declarations of Members' Interests

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

26.

Approving Portsmouth City Council's Homelessness Strategy 2024 - 2029

Purpose of Report

To present the Homelessness Strategy wich details Portsmouth City Council's approach to understanding and responding to customers and residents who face homelessness.

 

RECOMMENDATION

To approve the council's Homelessness Strategy 2024 - 2029 (Appendix 1) and associated action plan (Appendix 2), to be effective from the 1st January 2024.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Jo Bennett, Assistant Director Housing Need and Supply presented the report, the purpose of which was to present the Homelessness Strategy which detailed Portsmouth City Council's approach to understanding and responding to customers and residents who face homelessness, and to seek approval for the Strategy and the associated plan to be effective from 1 January 2024.

 

Deputations

A written deputation from Martin Silman, Portsmouth & District Private Landlords Association was read out by Democratic Services.

 

Deputations are not minuted but can be viewed here:

Cabinet Member for Housing and Tackling Homelessness, 7 December 2023 on Livestream

 

Members' Questions

In response to Members' questions, officers clarified:

 

·         The lived experience of a person on the Partnership Board was invaluable and the plan was to replicate this with the Strategy.  The new Partnership Board will have a focus placed on the experience of those living within services to co-produce and design going forward.  The Partnership will be relaunched in January 2024.

 

·         The service has one block with individual units - self-contained premises - as part of supported temporary accommodation which may suit those who have come through the housing needs front door or for those who are trying to move onto independent accommodation and are not able to live in environments such as The Registry.  The Service continues to track all different cohorts and attempt to respond in a housing supply way to what is needed.

 

·         The Strategy talks about sufficiency of accommodation but also the right type of accommodation and the right type of support to provide the facilities people need to live well but also to support them to sustain tenancy.  There will be additional models of accommodation needed across the strategy period.

 

·         People who withdraw their applications is difficult for the service.  People often approach the service at crisis point and then they lose contact.  Staff try to re-establish contact over a prolonged period of time.  The result of the consultation had shown that there needs to be a focus on preventing homelessness and helping people sustain their tenancies and not to lose their homes in the first place rather than just a reactive service.  New roles have been created such as an independent supported housing assessor.

 

·         There is a forum to meet with/talk with colleagues and a monthly meeting with the authorities' close neighbours.  There is also a comparator group of organisations that has been created to meet with people who are in a similar place in terms of population or size to learn from each other.  There is a lot of cross council working.

 

·         In terms of tracking people, the rough sleeping navigators are key to understanding where someone is. The Outreach programme have a group that meet weekly to discuss where people have gone, what has happened to them and to follow up and ensure they are safe.  People are provided with funded phones so staff can make contact with them.

 

·         The barriers to successful preventions are because people don’t come to the Council until they are past  ...  view the full minutes text for item 26.