Earlier this week the housing and homelessness charity Shelter released a report looking into the number of people facing homelessness in our region.
The number of households in temporary accommodation at the end of the financial year was 34 (60 people). After several discussions with Shelter to try and understand how they have reached their estimate, which includes people they class as homeless at home, we now understand their calculations and where Doncaster differs from other local authorities in the recording of information.
In accordance with our interpretation of the homeless legislation we have awarded a full homeless duty to those we have supported in their own homes to move to other suitable accommodation without the need for temporary accommodation. The way we have recorded these figures appears to differ from the neighbouring local authorities we have contacted, who have recorded these households in the advice and prevention section rather than awarding a full duty homeless priority. Our approach, whilst creating a higher figure, gives the people concerned greater security in that the council are committing to secure accommodation for them.
The Homeless Reduction Act introduced from 3/4/2018 means all local authorities have changed the way homeless people are treated, and we have worked with our colleagues in South Yorkshire to try and adopt a more consistent approach.
Doncaster is proud of the supportive and innovative approach we have adopted to helping homeless people through the creation of our award winning Complex Lives Team who work closely St Leger Homes and other partners to try and combat what is a growing national problem. St Leger Homes have also led on the development of the councils’ winter plan which provides overnight capacity for all rough sleepers should they choose to access it.