The council adopted a new strategy to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping in the borough at its full council meeting on 23 January 2020. The strategy has four key priorities: early intervention and prevention; working towards ending rough sleeping and tackling hidden homelessness (people who become homeless but are staying with friends or family); building more affordable homes; and supporting our vulnerable residents.
To address these priorities, the council is proposing to work with long-term rough sleepers, look closely at the hidden homeless in the borough and reduce its use of emergency and temporary accommodation for the homeless.
The strategy focuses on early intervention and prevention, working with partner organisations in the borough, exploring options for the development of a pilot Housing First (or similar) scheme, assessing hidden homelessness and addressing rough sleeping, refreshing the policy that sets out how the council allocates its social housing, building new affordable homes and supporting vulnerable residents.
The council held a public consultation on the strategy in September 2019 and then the council’s executive recommended approval to its full council.
“The impacts of homelessness can be devastating for individuals and families. Homelessness can affect everything — health, education and employment,” said John Kaiser, executive member for finance and housing. “Homelessness can have long term consequences for those affected. As a result, reducing homelessness and rough sleeping is a key priority for the council.
“Having a home should be a basic human right. That’s why we at the council prioritise so highly tackling homelessness and ending rough sleeping.”
For information on how to get advice if you or someone you know is or may become homeless, visit our website at www.wokingham.gov.uk and search ‘homelessness’.
To contact the council for help on homelessness, phone 0118 974 6000 during office hours or 01344 786 543 after hours, via email at email@example.com or by visiting the council offices at Shute End, Wokingham.
If you are aware of someone sleeping rough in the borough, let the council know by sending an alert to StreetLink. The details you provide will be sent to the council, who will use the information to find the individual, offer them support, and explore ways to find them accommodation.