A new strategy has been passed to tackle homelessness with a focus on prevention.
Dover District Council’s cabinet agreed on a Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy – with a five-point action plan.
The key points are:
Firstly, working with partners, including Porchlight, Kent Police, and county and district councils to identify and develop effective plans to help people back into housing.
Secondly enhancing accommodation options. This includes building more council-owned interim housing to reduce the use of temporary bed and breakfast accommodation.
Thirdly, using resources effectively. This includes discretionary housing payment funds to help people secure privately rented accommodation, fully using government grants, and producing bids for new funding initiatives.
The fourth action is improving options for homeless households. This includes increasing the provision of new places, and working with partners to make more possible affordable shared ownership as a way on to the property ladder.
The fifth commitment is to end rough sleeping by 2025.
DDC has a programme to build 500 new affordable homes across the district.
It has recently taken ownership of eight flats in Folkestone Road, Dover, which provide interim places for local people facing homelessness.
Other projects include 65 new homes at the former William Muge House and Snelgrove House sheltered accommodation in Harold Street, Dover.
There are also , 24 affordable homes under construction at Stockdale Gardens, Deal, and Kimberley Close,Buckland, Dover as well as 26 new homes at Napchester Road, Whitfield.
Cllr Derek Murphy, DDC cabinet member for housing said: “The Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy is a robust response to the housing issues facing homeless people in the district.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has reinforced how important the link is between access to good quality affordable housing and health, and DDC is committed to giving access to affordable housing to those in our district who need it.
“It is important that we have a plan to deal with this difficult issue, and that we work together to resolve it. This strategy for 2020 to 2024 is a key step as we continue to work to provide local people with the homes they need.”
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