Call for more to be done to help homeless in South Tyneside

People urged to report rough sleepers so help can be given
People urged to report rough sleepers so help can be given

A call has been made to improve services to help homeless people and those at risk of losing their homes.

South Tyneside Council’s People Select Committee has made the call following a commission into homelessness ahead of the introduction of the new Homelessness Reduction Act.

Coun John McCabe

Coun John McCabe

The report found South Tyneside has only four rough sleepers which the council is in regular contact with.

The committee’s recommendations calls for a greater distinction between the different categories of those without a home to call their own.

It also wants the council to lead on a project, alongside partners, to ensure data is shared so people’s needs when it comes to housing are better understood.

It is also seeking a protocol with neighbouring authorities for the use and licensing of homes of multiple occupation as these properties are sometimes in a poor state of repair.

We recognise that having a home is about far more than just having shelter.

Coun John McCabe

Members have also called for a review of South Tyneside Homes stock to ensure these properties are used ahead of the private rented sector.

Chairman of the People Select Committee, Coun John McCabe, said: “Under the new Act we will need to help all those who are homeless.

“To do this we need better recording procedures so that we can have a comprehensive picture of the level and type of homelessness in South Tyneside.

“While we already have good working relationships with other organisations in the field, by working together more closely we will be able to track individual cases more effectively. This will help us to address debt problems early on and prevent people from losing their home in the first place.

“We recognise that having a home is about far more than just having shelter. A home provides roots, a sense of identity and emotional wellbeing. For all these reasons, we are committed to helping those who find themselves in the unfortunate position of being homeless.”

The People Select Committee meeting will be held on Tuesday at 10am at South Shields Town Hall.