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Contact: Caroline Martin - Senior Governance Officer
Apologies for absence.
From Regeneration and Housing Overview and Scrutiny Panel, apologies for absence were received from Councillors Eva Hughes and Steve Cox.
From Communities and Environment Overview and Scrutiny Panel apologies were provided from Councillor Mark Houlbrook, David Hughes, Nigel Cannings and Jane Cox.
To consider the extent, if any, to which the public and press are to be excluded from the meeting.
Declarations of Interest, if any.
There were no declarations of interest made
Public Statements - [A period not exceeding 20 minutes for statements from up to 5 members of the public on matters within the Committees remit, proposing action(s) which may be considered or contribute towards the future development of the Committees Work Programme].
There were no public statements made.
Members received an update on the Doncaster Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy 2019-2024. It was explained that this strategy sets out the strategic ambition for how services and the wider system could prevent homelessness and rough sleeping in the Borough.
A presentation was provided that covered the following areas;
• The Story so far
• Key findings from the review
• Key Facts
• Draft Strategy Objectives
• Cross-cutting enablers
• Governance and Accountability
• Next Steps
During its consideration, some of the issues raised as part of the discussion included;
Support to prisoners following release – Members raised questions about what support was offered to prisoners and whether the amount of prisoners released without accommodation were a contributing factor towards levels of homelessness in the borough. It was recognised that this was a particular area of concern due to the number of prisons in the Borough. Members were assured that work was being undertaken with the South Yorkshire Community Rehabilitation Company and the National Probation Service to work upstream with prisoners prior to their release. Members were informed that weekly meetings were taking place with those partners. It was also noted that due to the work being undertaken by South Yorkshire Community Rehabilitation Company, there were few individuals engaged with locally that had arrived from other parts of the country.
Impact of Universal Credit – Members raised concern as to how the Universal Credit and the under occupancy charge had influenced levels of homelessness. It was advised that as indicated through national publications and work undertaken by the local steering group , those reforms may have resulted negatively on levels of homelessness.
Dispersed Provision - Members were informed that the delivery of the strategy aimed to ensure that the right accommodation was identified for the individual and had been reconfigured to a more centralised model. It was explained that the dispersed model was contained within the delivery plan and recognised that it needed to consider Care and Support services and the same time (around specific areas such as female rough sleepers and young people). It was acknowledged that there was a need to look at those areas and review what services could be made available in the future to reduce numbers and address the complexity within that. Members were informed that Doncaster was not an outlier in terms of the complexity of issues compared to other places. Members were informed that a local authority (with similar issues to Doncaster) had requested to come to Doncaster to look at the positive work being undertaken.
The report outlined the strategies to maximise opportunities and further develop a dispersed accommodation offer within this area.
Prevention – Concern was raised in relation to those individuals and families that had been evicted by a private landlord (Members were informed that homelessness had mostly resulted from tenancy’s ending). It was responded that working upstream at an earlier stage would look to prevent such issues. It was noted that those who may be evicted ... view the full minutes text for item 5.