Homelessness & Rough Sleeping Strategy 2024 - 2029

Ends on 15 March 2024 (14 days remaining)
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8. The Action Plan

8.1 This initial Action Plan has been developed to deliver the vision of the Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy 2024 – 2029. It will be monitored, reviewed and developed annually.

8.2 Operational changes in the delivery of the Housing Service currently being implemented mean that the Action Plan may be reviewed earlier than on its first anniversary to take account of them.

8.3 It is envisaged that individual SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound) targets to enable monitoring of progress against its objectives will be developed as part of the work of the Homelessness and Rough Sleeper Action Board. In advance of this, the Action Plan articulates what overall success will look like when the identified actions are achieved.

8.4 Increased prevention of homelessness, rapid homelessness relief where it cannot be prevented, a reduction in the use of temporary accommodation and reduced flow and numbers of rough sleepers will be successful outcomes from delivering the Action Plan across all of its Themes. The 'What Success Looks Like' measures detailed in the Action Plan below are those that are specific to each action.

Generic Actions

Action

Timescale for Completion

What Success Looks Like

Resources & Partners

Responsible Lead


Increase the number / percentage of cases of homelessness prevented


Ongoing

In line with contextual performance indicators set by the Homelessness and Rough Sleeper Action Board, percentage of cases of homelessness prevented increased.

  • Existing staff resource.
  • Commissioned systems partners.
  • Internal Partners.

Head of Housing, Homelessness and Customer Services


Reduce the number of households in temporary accommodation


Ongoing

In line with contextual performance indicators set by the Homelessness and Rough Sleeper Action Board, number of households in temporary accommodation reduced.

  • Existing staff resource.
  • Commissioned systems partners.
  • Internal Partners.

Head of Housing, Homelessness and Customer Services

Reduce the number of people sleeping rough

Ongoing

In line with contextual performance indicators set by the Homelessness and Rough Sleeper Action Board, number of people sleeping rough reduced.

  • Existing staff resource.
  • Commissioned systems partners.
  • Internal Partners.

Head of Housing, Homelessness and Customer Services

Review and improve the consistency, quality & accuracy of data capture across the Housing Service.

October 2024

  • Data collection process map published.
  • Data recording guidance for staff published.
  • Accurate statistics across all data capture and reporting platforms available.
  • Existing staff resource.
  • Commissioned systems partners.
  • Internal Partners.

Manager for Housing

Improve data collection relating to homelessness risk, decisions and outcomes for protected groups to inform continued best practice review, improvements and delivery.

On-going

  • Data recording guidance for staff published.
  • Confidence in accurate data for on-going service performance monitoring and delivery achieved.
  • Informed recommendations for service improvements made.
  • Fair and transparent homelessness service delivered.
  • Existing staff resource.
  • Commissioned systems partners.
  • Internal Partners.

Manager for Housing

Design and implement a Bedford Borough Homelessness and Rough Sleeper Action Board to:

  • drive this Strategy forward,
  • increase the commitment, at a strategic level, of a variety of public bodies in supporting homelessness prevention,
  • reducing the use of temporary accommodation,
  • improved quality of support for homeless individuals and families and
  • reduce the flow and numbers of rough sleepers.

Established
by
May 2024

and

On-going

  • Named members on the board.
  • Published terms of reference agreed.
  • Action plan agreed and circulated.
  • Specialist 'taskforce' groups identified and established.
  • Customer satisfaction improved.
  • Existing staff
  • Adult Social Care
  • Children's Services
  • Registered providers of social housing
  • Police & Crime Commissioner
  • Public Health
  • Supported Housing Providers.
  • Department of Work and Pensions
  • Private Sector Landlords
  • Charity Sector partners

Head of Housing, Homelessness and Customer Services

Theme 1: Preventing Homelessness

Action

Timescale for Completion

What Success Looks Like

Resources & Partners

Responsible Lead

Review and improve the consistency, quality & accuracy of data capture relating to identifying early homelessness intervention and prevention.

October 2024

  • Recommendations for service improvements agreed and implemented.
  • Confidence in accurate data for on-going service performance monitoring and delivery achieved.
  • Staff performance monitoring, training implemented, and development needs identified and addressed.
  • Existing staff resource. 
  • Commissioned systems partners.
  • Internal Partners.

Manager for Housing

Identify early intervention opportunities, outside of the statutory 'prevention' duty, through improved staff training, initial assessment scripts and data capture.

On-going

  • People presenting to the council threatened with homelessness reduced.
  • Numbers of 'prevention' duty ending with successful outcome increased.
  • Existing staff resource.
  • Internal Partners.

Manager for Housing

Design and implement a 'Homelessness Prevention Taskforce' focusing on development of a prevention toolkit, which reaches all causes of homelessness.

Establish taskforce by June 2024.



Published toolkit by April 2025.

  • Prevention toolkit guidance for staff developed and published.
  • Local homelessness prevention training programme developed and delivered.
  • Numbers of 'prevention' duty ending with successful outcome increased.
  • Existing staff resource.
  • Internal partners
  • Members and delegates of the Homelessness &  Rough Sleeper Action Board.

Head of Housing, Homelessness and Customer Services

Theme 2: Supply of Accommodation

Action

Timescale for Completion

What Success Looks Like

Resources & Partners

Responsible Lead

Design and implement a 'Social Housing Taskforce' focusing on reviewing demand and supply of affordable housing.

Establish taskforce by June 2024.

and

On-going

  • Accurate understanding of housing demand.
  • Internally agreed action plan for delivering the right housing to meet the objectives of the Strategy.
  • A platform for consulting with social housing providers on housing allocation scheme review established.
  • Existing staff resource.
  • Internal partners
  • Homelessness and Rough Sleeper Action Board
  • Operational managers from all local social housing providers.

Head of Housing, Homelessness and Customer Services

Review the Housing Allocation Scheme ensuring it aligns to the objectives of homelessness prevention, relief, suitability and long-term tenancy sustainment.

April 2025

  • Review of the Scheme completed and informed by accurate data and homelessness board & taskforce recommendations.
  • New Housing Allocation Scheme published.
  • Guidance and Training for staff on the new scheme implemented.
  • Early intervention and statutory homelessness prevention increased. Homelessness relief increased. Improved pathways into social housing solutions for rough sleepers identified and implemented.
  • Existing staff resource.

Manager for Housing

Design and implement a 'Private Rented Sector Taskforce' focusing on development of initiatives to increase access to affordable private rented sector opportunities.

Establish taskforce by June 2024.

and

On-going

  • Agreed and published Terms of Reference for the group.
  • Publicity produced and published to reach out to the private sector.
  • Commitment confirmed from private sector representatives.
  • Redesigned and fit for purpose Rent
  • Deposit Scheme implemented.
  • Number of empty homes bought back into use increased.
  • Positive feedback from private sector landlords received.
  • Existing staff resource. Internal partners
  • Homelessness and Rough Sleeper Action Board members and delegates
  • Local PRS landlords and letting agents, property developers and empty property owners.
  • Department of Work and Pensions.

Manager for Housing

Procure more Council owned temporary accommodation to reduce costs and improve quality subject to value for money assessment.

-

  • Cost of delivering temporary accommodation reduced.
  • Use of B&B and Nightly Let arrangements reduced.
  • Supply of local accommodation to enable homeless households to remain local increased.
  • Existing staff resource.
  • Internal partners

Head of Housing, Homelessness and Customer Services

Complete a review of commissioned supported housing schemes bringing forward recommendations for future commissioning to align services to meeting the Vision of the Strategy.

Review complete by April 2025.


Delivery of new or renewed Services by April 2026

  • Report on current supported housing outcomes and value for money produced and recommendations implemented.
  • New or improved housing schemes brought forward.
  • Procurement process and mobilisation of schemes undertaken.
  • Number of people being evicted from supported housing reduced.
  • Pathway solutions for rough sleepers improved.
  • Existing staff resource
  • Internal partners inc. procurement
  • Current commissioned providers of supported housing.

Manager for Housing

Theme 3: Providing Support

Action

Timescale for Completion

What Success Looks Like

Resources & Partners

Responsible Lead

Review and improve the consistency, quality and accuracy of data capture relating to people's support needs to inform and focus partnership-working protocols.

October 2024

Recommendations for service improvements made and considered. Accurate data for service performance monitoring and delivery produced. Accurate data feeding into housing supply and supported housing taskforce action plans produced. Quality of personal housing plans improved. Suitability considered in all property offers. Tenancy sustainment and reduction in repeat homelessness improved. Accurate data and service gap analysis used to inform future grant funding bids.

  • Existing staff resource.
  • Commissioned systems partners.
  • Internal Partners

Manager for Housing

Design and implement a 'Supported Housing Taskforce' focussing on developing best practice and protocols for making best use of all available bed spaces, tenancy sustainment and move-on options.

Establish taskforce by June 2024.
 

Published protocols by October 2026.

  • Supported housing pathway agreed.
  • Best practice protocols published.
  • Local supported housing awareness programme implemented.
  • Number of evictions reduced.
  • Number of prevention and relief outcomes increased.
  • A platform for consulting with supported housing providers on new commissioning proposals developed and implemented.
  • Existing staff.
  • Internal partners
  • Homelessness and Rough Sleeper Action Board
  • Managers of local supported housing schemes.

Manager for Housing

Review of floating support services, needs, gaps and recommendations.

Review completed by September 2024.

Delivery of new or renewed Commissioned Services by April 2026

  • Report on the current floating support outcomes and value for money produced.
  • Recommendations for service improvements from the report implemented.
  • New or improved schemes designed and brought forward.
  • Procurement process completed and schemes mobilised.
  • Sustainment of temporary accommodation licence agreements improved.
  • Homelessness early intervention and prevention of repeat homelessness improved.
  • Resettlement programme and tenancy sustainment improved.
  • Repeat homelessness reduced.
  • Existing staff resource
  • Internal partners including procurement teams
  • Current commissioned providers of floating housing support services

Manager for Housing

Review support services in order to make decisions on any changes to the services for people who are rough sleeping

Report recommendations and proposals to maintain RSI services to meet current demands by September 2024

Mobilise the new services and ways of working by April 2025

  • Report on the ending of RSI 2022 – 2025 to include numbers supported, outcomes, flow of new and repeat rough sleeping published.
  • Seamless transition from RSI grant funded specialist services to new ways of delivering rough sleeper initiatives delivered.
  • Guidance and training to internal staff and agencies on rough sleeper interview skills and pathway options developed and delivered.
  • Relief options for rough sleepers identified.
  • Clear recovery and rehousing pathways for rough sleepers delivered.
  • Existing staff resource
  • Internal partners including adult safeguarding and public health
  • Rough Sleeper specialist external partners

Manager for Housing

Ensure delivery of the aims and objectives set out in the Domestic Abuse Strategy relating to housing needs and support for victims.

On-going

  • Clear links to Domestic Abuse Strategy in all action plans and recommendations from homelessness board and taskforce groups identified.
  • Two-way guidance and training for all housing service staff and domestic abuse support agencies delivered.
  • Customer journey for victims experiencing homelessness improved.
  • Existing staff resource
  • Internal partners
  • Domestic Abuse specialist external partners.

Manager for Housing

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