Residents are being invited to have their say and shape a new strategy to help reduce homelessness and rough sleeping in County Durham.
To further meet the needs of residents and their communities, Durham County Council is looking to refresh its Homelessness and Rough Sleeper Strategy which will cover the next five years to 2028.
The new strategy will focus on four main priorities. These include preventing people from becoming homeless in the first place; increasing the number of affordable homes available and improving access to them; ensuring the appropriate support is available for people who are homeless; and ending rough sleeping for good.
Cllr Alan Shield, Durham County Council’s cabinet member for equality and inclusion, said: “As a local authority, we are extremely committed to preventing people from ending up on the street.
“Our homelessness strategy sets out how we are tackling the issues that lead to rough sleeping and includes a range of issues including financial, employment and mental health support as well as assistance with housing issues when relationships break down.
“We are working hard to sustain the reduction in the number of rough sleepers across the county, in particular in Durham city centre, with the reports of homelessness and rough sleeping being relatively low in comparison to previous times.
“We are asking for everyone’s help to develop and progress this new strategy, so please let us know what priorities you believe that we should focus our efforts on.”
Feedback will be used to shape the draft strategy and action plan, which will be available for a further round of consultation later in 2023.
Once adopted, the new strategy and action plan will inform the council’s work to reduce homelessness and rough sleeping.
The closing date for comments is Sunday, March 5.
For more information, visit www.durham.gov.uk/consultation.