AVDC launches new Housing and Homelessness Strategy

22 Jan 2019

Aylesbury Vale District Council (AVDC) has now launched its new Housing and Homelessness Strategy, and has published it on the AVDC website. The strategy sets out a collaborative approach to tackling homelessness across the Vale - bringing together local authority partners, registered housing providers and health organisations.

Unanimously approved by the council in December 2018, the strategy is designed to ensure those who want to make the Vale their home are supported and empowered to do so. The strategy has four strategic priorities to help achieve this:

  1. Prevent and reduce homelessness and rough sleeping.
  2. Continue to facilitate and maximise the supply of affordable housing.
  3. Respond to the ongoing challenges of welfare reform.
  4. Contribute to the improvement of health and wellbeing services for people at risk of homelessness.

AVDC is already making headway in a challenging climate with nearly 1,700 households prevented from becoming homeless since April 2014. And the council will continue to strive towards the government target of eliminating rough sleeping completely by 2027, spearheaded by the Rough Sleepers Initiative.

Additionally, AVDC was awarded nearly £500k for 2018-20 from the government to help reduce rough sleeping in Aylesbury Vale. This funding has already helped to reduce the number of rough sleepers in the Vale to single figures.

Cllr Mark Winn, Cabinet Member for Communities, commented on the strategy:

“Supporting housing in Aylesbury Vale is arguably the most important thing we do as a local authority. And our newly-published Housing and Homelessness Strategy is a result of a wide-ranging consultation with our partners and residents, and I’d like to thank all those who took part.

“There has, and continues to be, some great work going on to prevent homelessness in the Vale, including 1,700 households prevented from being homeless in the last four years, and the delivery of over 1,546 new affordable homes (the third highest number of homes throughout England) over the last five years.

“On rough sleeping, I’ve spoken extensively to those involved and I’ve also been out with the team at 3am counting the number of rough sleepers. It’s clear to me that some inspiring work is going on together with our partners to help this under-privileged group sort out their often complex personal issues, so they can get back into a permanent home.

“However, many challenges remain ahead, such as the effect of welfare reform and the increasing affordability challenge of housing for residents in our area. Our new strategy sets out how AVDC (and the new unitary authority from next year) will need to consolidate and build on our successes to date, and sets out our plan to ensure those who wish to make their home in Aylesbury Vale can do so.”

The strategy and its action plan will be monitored by the Homeless Prevention Forum, which is hosted by AVDC on a quarterly basis. Updates on the action plan will be posted on the AVDC website.

To view the new Housing and Homelessness Strategy, please visit: https://www.aylesburyvaledc.gov.uk/housing-strategy

For additional information on the new Housing and Homelessness Strategy, please contact AVDC on 01296 585858. To report a rough sleeper, please call StreetLink on 0300 500 0914.

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