Tackling homelessness locally – our response

Reigate and Banstead Borough Council recently consulted on its proposed new Homelessness Strategy.

The Council’s review highlights two underlying problems that are making homelessness worse in Reigate and Banstead:

  • increased termination of private rented tenancies, and
  • rising rent prices and a persistent lack of affordable homes.

We responded, welcoming the measures set out in their proposed strategy, including the reduced use of bed and breakfast (B&B) accommodation.

However, we are concerned that unless the underlying causes are tackled, homelessness will continue to increase, and families will continue to be forced to move out of the Borough because of the lack of sufficiently affordable housing options here.

In our response, we propose that the Council take a more strategic role and take responsibility for ensuring that the quality of housing in the private rented sector increases. We propose that the Council:

  • introduces a good landlords’ scheme for the private rented sector, or similar;
  • reviews its Affordable Housing Supplementary Planning Document and increases affordable housing (especially social rent) targets; and
  • ensures that all developments on publicly owned land include a minimum proportion of properties for social rent.

We also propose that the Council revise its strategy to take account of changes in the government’s  Homelessness Reduction Bill, which is likely to come into force this year.

Read our full response

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