Cabinet doubles down on commitment to end homelessness in Brent

15 January 2020

Yesterday, January 14, Brent’s Cabinet agreed a strategy for reducing homelessness and ending rough sleeping in the borough.

Homelessness in Brent is a very real issue – compounded by a housing crisis across London, changes to welfare and precarious employment. Between April and November last year, over 2,000 individuals and families approached the Council for help and it is believed that this is only a proportion of people at risk, for example, those who are living with friends or family. 

The strategy was developed in consultation with local partners, residents and people who have used services. It follows a thorough review of existing services and took the likely increase in demand from people who find themselves at risk of homelessness.

The strategy sets out five core commitments, which the Council will use to guide its work with partners:

  • Ensure we really understand the challenges of homelessness in Brent so we can develop solutions that have the greatest impact and improve the quality of existing services.
  • Build services that are prevention focused, available to people before they get to crisis point.
  • Continue to increase the supply of, and access to, stable and affordable homes in Brent. Our target is to build 5,000 affordable homes, 1,000 of which will be Council homes, within the next five years.
  • Minimise the use of temporary accommodation, but where this is unavoidable, improving the quality of this accommodation, keeping the stay as short as possible.
  • Personalise services to individuals’ needs, collaborating with partners to ensure that people’s unique – and often complex – needs are properly met.

Cllr Southwood, Cabinet Member for Housing and Welfare Reform, said: “The Council and its partners work hard to be there for people who find themselves at risk of homelessness or sleeping rough. Our review highlighted great projects, for example, the Sanctuary of Safety, but also made clear that we can do more to coordinate efforts and improve our understanding of how to have the greatest impact.

“This strategy reaffirms our commitment to end homelessness in Brent. Most importantly, it reminds us that all services start with empathy and that everyone’s story is different.”

If you are concerned about someone who may be sleeping rough, please contact Streetlink via https://www.streetlink.org.uk/