Plan to tackle homeless issues agreed

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Brought to you by the Morpeth Herald.
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A five-year plan that aims to further reduce the number of homeless people living in the county has been given the go-ahead.

The new Northumberland County Council strategy for 2016 to 2021 sets out the priorities and future actions for tackling the issue.

This was done in response to a review, which considered the current and predicted future levels of homelessness in the area and the existing services and resources available.

During the next five years, the main focus of the plan will be to put significant effort into prevention work and limit the amount of funding spent on re-housing by aiming to keep those at risk in their own home.

Other priorities in the agreed strategy include improving access to both permanent and temporary accommodation, particularly in the private sector, working with partners to mitigate the impact of the Welfare Reform Act and to provide more housing solutions for young people.

Coun Alan Hepple, cabinet member for economic growth at Northumberland County Council, said: “I am pleased to see the strategy has been approved by the cabinet.

“The council’s homelessness service has already achieved a number of successes since the last plan was introduced in 2013.

“There are some challenges ahead as we will need to tackle these issues at a time when the council is faced with making significant budget savings along with the government’s proposed housing policy changes, which could impact on our ability to build new council homes.

“However, I am confident that this plan, along with the excellent relationships we have already built with partner agencies, will deliver a robust support network to those in need.”