Pembrokeshire County Council has been chosen as one of just three local authorities across the UK to work on a pilot project to combat homelessness
The eight month pilot, called ‘What Works Community’, is being run by the Centre for Homelessness Impact - an organisation dedicated to improving the lives of those experiencing homelessness.
One of the aims of the initiative is to ensure that policy, practice and funding decisions taken with regard to homelessness issues are underpinned by robust evidence.
Council housing staff recently undertook training to learn how to collect and quantify relevant data.
Cabinet Member for Housing, Michelle Bateman, said the Authority was delighted to be taking part in the innovative pilot which recognised that the first step in addressing homelessness needed to be at a local level.
Said Councillor Bateman: “One of our priorities is supporting people into the private sector, so we'll look to build capacity for the use of evidence and data not just to see more sustainable reductions in homelessness, but more broadly to sustaining tenancies across all tenures.”
“The idea behind the pilot is for us, as an Authority, to focus on a small achievable goal and to use this to practice implementing the skills we’re learning to reach our goal.
“Beyond the pilot, we can use these skills to inform our working practices, creating a shift towards more robust, evidence-based problem-solving.”
While all three local authorities are looking at ways of engaging more of the private rental sector, Pembrokeshire’s particular focus for the pilot is on how to engage more guarantors.
Pembrokeshire recently developed a homelessness strategy action plan for the period between 2019 and 2023. Its operational priorities are shaped around prevention and improving access to sustained, settled accommodation.
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Housing staff who are taking part in the pilot project.