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Reducing homelessness is key priority for city

Published Tuesday, 05 March 2019

The Council is set to confirm its housing and homelessness strategy for the next five years following discussions with community groups and housing agencies.

The Housing and Homelessness Strategy for 2019 to 2024 will be considered by councillors at the Local Authority’s Cabinet meeting on Tuesday 12 March.

This joint strategy aims to address an increase in homelessness in recent years across the country and aims to increase house building and housing availability in the city.

It also sets out the importance of working with partners to address rough sleeping.

Cllr Ed Ruane, Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities at Coventry City Council, said that the key part of the strategy is to enable families and individuals to have access to good quality homes or have secured tenancies in affordable and suitable accommodation.

He also said the strategy will set out to significantly cut down on people and families having to stay in Bed and Breakfast accommodation.

He explained: “As a council we believe that addressing homelessness is our key priority and is fundamental to the wellbeing of people.

“Subject to the completion of agreed works at Caradoc Hall, it will be occupied from Autumn and there are other housebuilding schemes identified to help alleviate the pressures that lead to bed and breakfast occupancy, as well as meeting the increasing demands of a growing population.

“The strategy will need to ensure that we have a city with the appropriate mix of housing types and tenures.”

In 2017/18 there were 557 households accepted as statutorily homeless in Coventry. The majority (69 per cent) of statutory homeless households had a dependent child or children and 50 per cent were female lone parents.

He added: “There is much more work to be done although since 2010 there have been nearly 9,000 new homes built across Coventry and of these 8,232 (92%) have been built on brownfield land.

“Looking ahead there are a further 2000 homes under construction across Coventry of which 93 per cent are on Brownfield sites.”

To underpin the strategy the Council has already agreed to provide extra money to support families and individuals in supported accommodation that is £6.1m above the 2017/18 levels.

Cllr Ruane added: “We have earmarked extra funding to reduce homelessness and I believe that we are taking the right steps to improve the situation.

“This includes addressing rough sleeping, which mainly affects those people with more complex needs. That’s why it is essential to have involved as many partner agencies as possible in formulating the strategy.”

“There is also a need for larger family homes and we need more new affordable housing that will help meet local needs.”

A consultation on the strategy was held in November and December. 

Licensing schemes are also currently being discussed to influence standards of private rented housing.

Across the country the government’s target to build 300,000 new homes a year is proving difficult to achieve.

Facts about housing in Coventry

  • 57 per cent of housing in Coventry is owner-occupied; 25 per cent are private rented; and 18 per cent are rented via housing associations.
  • 14,000 households are registered on Coventry Homefinder, although only 14 per cent are three or more bedrooms.
  • The average property prices in Coventry is £187,785.
  • The average private rental price in Coventry is £645.

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