On his election in May 2017, Andy Street pledged to make tackling homelessness and rough sleeping a priority. One of the first actions was the creation of a Homelessness Task Force which aims to 'design out homelessness in the West Midlands'.
Homelessness is most acute and recognisable when there is an accommodation crisis that needs an emergency intervention. The task force aims to prevent such crises, wherever possible, through universal and targeted prevention, to intervene quickly and effectively with crisis prevention and relief, and to ensure the best pathway to recovery, enabling people to move on to a settled home.
To do this individual task groups are concentrating on the challenges faced by:
In addition the Steering Group hopes to see the establishment of a 'Regional Radar' - a means to quickly capture and analyse data from across the WMCA to achieve best planning and interventions.
St. Basil's (Chair)
I am really pleased to have the opportunity to chair the Mayor's Homelessness Taskforce. Under previous regional structures I chaired the regional homelessness network and saw the benefits of collaboration which added value rather than adding work.
As Chief Executive of St Basils, I am very conscious of the systemic and personal issues that contribute to homelessness. Generally we focus on the personal as we rarely have the opportunity to tackle and improve the systemic issues. This perpetuates a perspective that people are the problem; troubled individuals and families. And yet, a major factor is troubled systems, much harder to tackle and change.
There is a huge amount of good work in our region tackling homelessness and yet it continues to increase. By working together across the region, across sectors and disciplines, we have the opportunity to tackle the systemic issues which contribute to homelessness and replace with approaches and processes which prevent and design out homelessness. We have been overwhelmed with the commitment to work together to make this ambition a reality.
Birmingham City Council
Coventry City Council
Wolverhampton City Council
Solihull City Council
WM Housing Association Partnership
Birmingham and Solihull Women's Aid
WM Police / Mental Health Commission Implementation Lead
On behalf of Pat Davies, Department of Work and Pensions, Group Director, Central England
Representative of West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner
Public Health England
YMCA Black Country
West Midlands Fire Service
Director of Skylight Birmingham and Coventry, Crisis