Homeless plans under spotlight

Blackpool Council has a new strategy to deal with homelessness
Blackpool Council has a new strategy to deal with homelessness
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Plans to tryto deal with Blackpool’s problem with homelessness are to come under the spotlight.

The town has over three times the national average of homeless people, with the majority single people and childless couples.

The issue, and a new strategy aimed at tackling it, are set to be discussed at an upcoming council meeting, when councillors will look atcauses, and what the authority’s response should be.

It comes as it was revealed that 2,900 households, out of 64,000 in the resort, sought help last year because they were homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

Reasons are complex, the council said, with a hike in people being prioritised because of violent relationships breaking down.

The total number of homeless families and single people has reduced in the last three years, from 702 in 2015/16 to 603 in 2017/18. But the number of rough sleepers is on the rise.

People found to have slept rough at least once in a year increased significantly, from 160 in 2015/16 to 235 in 2017/18.

Housing boss Coun Christine Wright (inset), said previously: “Finding a home is so important to both families and individuals.

“A stable home underpins successful education, employment and maintenance of good health. Reducing and preventing homelessness is also crucial for people’s well-being and we are committed to ensure that our strategies help deliver better lives in our community.”

The new strategy aims to address housing issues by building new homes, boosting the privately rented sector, and stabilising the lives of Blackpool residents. It also aims to prevent homelessness by working with other agencies to identify risk and intervene earlier, minimising harm to health, and supporting people to avoid repeat homelessness.