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Liverpool City Council launch consultation on new homelessness and rough sleeping strategy

A consultation has been launched by Liverpool City Council for its new homelessness and rough sleeping strategy.

Anyone in the city, including residents, businesses and other organisations, is invited to have their say on the five-year strategy which is set to inform how Liverpool supports people who have lost their homes.

The consultation will remain open until 24 November.

The strategy has been developed by the council with its partners which are part of the city’s Homelessness Transformation Steering Group, including housing providers and Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group, along with people who have a lived experience of homelessness.

The strategy has also been informed by the “Everyone In” approach that was implemented at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic to ensure that people sleeping rough were supported to come off the streets into safe accommodation.

“Everyone In” saw 1,800 people accommodated. Liverpool’s pandemic response also saw the Allocations Panel set up with housing partners which has also meant that homelessness has been ended permanently for 934 households, with a further 100 matched to new accommodation.

The new strategy sets out a homelessness transformation framework called The Liverpool Ladder and is informed by the following vision:

Everyone has the right to:

  • A secure place to call home
  • A part to play in their communities
  • A purpose for their lives.

To achieve this vision is underpinned by eight ambitions:

  • People-centred, people first – Develop a dedicated street outreach team and a city centre hub for people to connect with services.
  • Leave no-one out – Services will offer the “first step to home,” including an integrated IT system so all partners work as one team.
  • Act quickly – Enhance the existing Housing Options Service.
  • Learn, connect, impact – Improving integration with health and other partners.
  • Access the right housing – Having a supply to the right type of housing particularly for people coming off the streets and expanding the ethical lettings programme.
  • Make great homes – Embed the Liverpool Standard, supporting homeless people and families on all aspects of a first tenancy, including furniture a rent deposit and food.
  • Invest in jobs and skills – Develop our current employment support models and develop new ones if necessary.
  • Build and empower communities – Improve our floating support team by creating a transition team to help people as they move into independent living.

The ultimate aim of the strategy is that homelessness in Liverpool is rare, brief and non-recurring.

Cllr Frazer Lake, cabinet member for social care, said: 

“Homelessness is a complex and challenging issue. It’s not only about people who are sleeping rough, it’s also about families who have lost their homes, young people sofa-surfing, or people seeking safety from abusive relationships.

“Liverpool City Council has a duty of care to everyone who has lost their home, as well as people who are concerned that they are facing homelessness. But ending homelessness isn’t just about giving people a roof over their heads, it’s also about making sure that people are confident about moving on with their lives as members of their communities.

“The pandemic challenged local authorities to think differently about keeping people safe. We are proud of what we achieved in Liverpool and we have taken what we learnt and built it into this new strategy so that we can carry on that good work as we support people who are facing post-Covid challenges.

“We know that homelessness is an issue that many people in Liverpool care about and I encourage everyone to read the strategy and share their feedback, it’s a real chance to influence how the council and its partners achieves the aim of making homelessness rare, brief and non-recurring in Liverpool.”

Bronwen Rapley, chief executive, Onward Homes, and chair of the Liverpool City Region Housing Associations, said: 

“On behalf of the housing associations of Liverpool, I am delighted to endorse this strategy. It builds on the successful partnership we have built during the pandemic and will make a real difference for people facing homelessness in the city.”

Steve Harding, director of operations for Crisis, said: 

“As we’ve seen throughout the pandemic, when the collaboration and the political will is there, we can dramatically reduce the numbers of people forced into, and trapped in, homelessness. As we look ahead, we’re pleased to see this consultation taking place to ensure that Liverpool can continue to take the steps needed to tackle homelessness. 

“We’re excited to continue working closely with organisations and representatives from across the sector and Liverpool City Council to develop and achieve the changes we urgently need to both help people out of homelessness and into a home of their own with the support they need, and to prevent people from being forced into homelessness in the first place.”

The full strategy along with an online feedback form can be found on the council’s website

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