Homelessness Prevention and Rough Sleeper Strategy

Priority 3: Increase access to affordable housing options

Why is this important?

Having a home that is affordable allows households to put down roots in a community, provides a sense of belonging and supports emotional wellbeing. Being on a low-income creates barriers to accessing and sustaining affordable housing. The short supply of affor.dable housing is a significant driver of homelessness and despite the Council's best efforts to increase affordable housing, demand continues to outstrip supply.

Our aim is to improve the housing options available to homeless households, including increasing the accessibility of private rented housing. We also want to make sure that all households in Rotherham are given fair access to social housing and our duties are effectively met.

The Housing Strategy 2022-2026 aims to increase affordable homes through new build and bringing empty homes back into use.

What we have done so far:

  • During April 2020 and March 2021, 791 homeless households were rehoused into settled housing.
  • We have delivered more affordable homes across the borough, either directly or by working with housing providers to meet local need.
  • We have reviewed the Council’s Housing Allocations Policy and made amendments to enable people who are in or have served in the armed forces to access social housing regardless of local connection.
  • All applicants have an affordability assessment prior to being offered council accommodation.
  • We have worked with stakeholders and partners to identify and provide clear housing pathways for vulnerable groups. l We have increased the number of supported housing available in Rotherham.

Over the next 3 years:

  • We will increase the number of households rehoused into private rented accommodation.
  • We will explore landlord incentives to help increase access to affordable private rented housing.
  • We will continue to help secure private rented housing by supporting financial assistance for tenancy deposits and rent in advance.
  • We will increase the number of social housing, by building more council housing and working in partnership with registered social housing providers.
  • We will review the Housing Allocations Policy.
  • We will work in partnership with our commissioning colleagues to review housing related support and accommodation needs in Rotherham.

Impact Measures:

  • Increased number of households rehoused into settled housing (Council, Housing Association, private rented and supported housing). Between April 2020 and March 2021 there were 791 households rehoused into settled housing, we will use these figures for our baseline