Members heard from the Assistant Director Homes and Communities regarding the updated West Lindsey Housing Strategy 2022-2024 and seeking approval to extend the Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy. It was explained that the West Lindsey Housing Strategy 2018-2022 had the vision “Everyone has access to good quality housing which meets their housing need and aspiration, in a pleasing environment which enables a healthy lifestyle”. To achieve the vision, three key strategic themes were identified:
· Driving Housing Growth to meet housing need
· Improving homes and transforming places
· A partnership approach to support choice, wellbeing and independence
The current West Lindsey Housing Strategy was due to expire in 2022. A review of this strategy began in mid-2021 which determined that even though there had been a significant amount of work undertaken to meet the aspirations of the strategy, the key themes were still as relevant today as they were back in 2018 when they were adopted. This led to a process which looked to refresh the existing strategy and extend out a further two years to allow for more work to be undertaken to realise the vision. A new West Lindsey Corporate Plan would be delivered in 2023. This approach would enable the Housing Strategy to contribute to delivery of a new corporate plan.
It was explained that new sections of the strategy were introduced to acknowledge the changes that had occurred over the past 4 years and to understand what challenges and opportunities those changes brought. The following sections had been added to the strategy:
· Levelling up
· Climate change
· Selective Licensing
The current Lincolnshire Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy approved by Prosperous Communities Committee in November 2017, covered the period up to the end of 2021. The strategy had an action plan to underpin the priorities and had been led by the Homelessness Lead Officers of the seven Local Authorities across Lincolnshire. The authorities had recently contributed to a joint Strategic Lead post, hosted by North Kesteven District Council, as a dedicated resource to lead and coordinate the delivery of this associated strategy.
Members heard that the strategy was due to be reviewed in 2021, however Covid-19 presented many challenges and workstreams were re-prioritised. The
focus on ensuring the ‘Everyone In’ campaign and vulnerable people were able to access accommodation and advice throughout the pandemic was prioritised. The recruitment process to the aforementioned new post had also created further delays. A review of the existing strategy would take place to update on progress on previous highlighted priorities and shape workstreams to fit within
pandemic recovery plans, and would be undertaken by the seven local authorities in Lincolnshire.
The purpose of the review was to:
· establish the current level of homelessness across the county,
· project its likely growth (or decline) in future years,
· identify what was currently being done and by whom,
· identify the level of resource available to prevent and tackle homelessness in the future
· identify gaps and what needed to be done to ensure a robust and sustainable response ... view the full minutes text for item 70