Cherwell District Council: Extra resources to prevent homelessness
Cherwell District Council plans to put more resources into preventing homelessness having reported that “demand on the housing team remains high.”
The authority’s monthly performance report, which updates councillors on how well services are delivered in line with aims and targets, revealed its work on preventing homelessness was categorised as amber - short of target by anything up to 10 per cent - for October and the year to date.
Presenting the latest data to Cherwell’s executive, Councillor Richard Mould (Con, Bicester East), lead member for performance, said: “The demand on the housing team remains high, officers are prioritising support to customers presenting in crisis
“Plans are in place to increase resources for prevention and early intervention.”
Figures also show rises in people in temporary accommodation and claiming housing benefit, factors that could end up exacerbating the problem.
The average time taken to process new housing benefit claims dropped narrowly short of target for October with the council report explaining that September and October had seen 190 claims received per month against the normal flow of 120-150 claims.
The problem is being addressed through new starters working on claims “so this should improve”.
The number of households living in temporary accommodation is now at 29. The report says this “is still within target but rising gradually as the number of clients approaching is increasing”.
It acknowledges that “waiting times for social housing is increasing which will have a knock-on effect for the time households spend in temporary accommodation”.
Most areas of the council’s work on or above target for October, including a drop in the emissions from its vehicle fleet despite increased demands on waste services.
Cllr Mould said: “The performance is stable with many measures and key performance indicators on or ahead of target which demonstrates the dedication and commitment across all of our services to continue to work towards the outcomes set out in our business plan.”