The number of those needing emergency help is rising and is expected to continue to grow as Universal Credit cuts kick in and the cost of living increases
A new plan to tackle homelessness in Oldham has been approved. Oldham Council reviews its homelessness strategy every five years and its latest plan addresses the extra challenges the pandemic has for housing.
The vast majority of homeless people are families or single people staying with friends and relatives or in temporary or inappropriate accommodation.
The number of those needing emergency help is rising and is expected to continue to grow as Universal Credit cuts kick in and the cost of living increases.
Other protections put in place during the pandemic have also ended – the ban on evictions in May, and furlough in September – putting increasing pressure on residents.
Cabinet member for housing at the council, Cllr Hannah Roberts, said: We are living in some of the most challenging times in our recent history.
Homeless people are already among the most disadvantaged in society, with many in Oldham particularly affected by poor mental and physical health, she said.
Oldham and the UK more widely, have a housing crisis. The pandemic has highlighted problems caused by a lack of social housing, an unregulated private sector, rising house prices putting homes out of the reach of many, cutting levels of Housing Benefit and the continuing impact of Right to Buy.
The council has also launched its temporary accommodation strategy, which will run from 2021-2024.
A key part of the plan will be to continue our ongoing successful efforts to cut the use of B&Bs as temporary accommodation.
Instead, the council plans to move to a “direct delivery model”, to create more council owned and managed housing options, so it will have greater control over the support on offer.
Properties will be located across the borough to cater to the growing demand boroughwide.
The local authority aim to maximise existing resources including working closely with both registered social landlords and private landlords and will continue to offer bespoke housing-related support to each household to ensure their needs are met during and beyond living in temporary accommodation.
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