Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy 2022 to 2025

1. Introduction

It is a statutory requirement that every local authority has a strategy for preventing homelessness and rough sleeping. This strategy has been drawn up from a robust evidence base, which looks at patterns and trends in homelessness, the personal and structural factors that lead to people becoming homeless, and the effectiveness of different interventions in preventing homelessness. The evidence base is published alongside this strategy.

This strategy has been developed to reflect and conform to statutory requirements, including the updated Homelessness Code of Guidance for Local Authorities 2018.

The Housing Act 1996 and Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 (HRA) sets the statutory framework for the Council’s homelessness duties. The ethos of the HRA is to:

  • prevent more people from becoming homeless in the first place by identifying people at risk and intervening earlier;
  • intervene rapidly if a homelessness crisis occurs, so it is brief and non-recurrent; and
  • help more people to recover from and exit homelessness by getting them back on their feet.

This strategy reflects the requirements of the HRA and the recognised need to continue to intervene at the earliest possible stage to prevent homelessness.

This strategy also recognises the government’s ongoing commitment to ending rough sleeping with 2022 marking the end of the criminalisation of rough sleeping, with the repeal of the Vagrancy Act 1824. The Government announced in February 2022 that it would be developing and publishing a new national rough sleeping strategy. The Council will monitor this and ensure that the Council’s Homelessness Strategy reflects the Government’s priorities going forward as and when the national strategy is published.