Cornwall Council is holding a consultation with its partners and the public as it looks to update its homeless strategy.

It is looking for people who are homeless or are being threatened with homelessness to be involved.

Cornwall Council cabinet portfolio holder for homes, Andrew Mitchell, said: “We have a homelessness strategy in place but need to update it to reflect what is happening now.

“Tackling homelessness is a priority for Cornwall Council. 

"It is something that can affect anyone at any time.

“Every day our residents are under increasing financial pressure as a result of high housing costs, low wages and significant welfare reform. 

“Homelessness can also come about because of relationship breakdown, debt and through ill health. 

“More and more families and individuals are facing homelessness and we need to work together to help find solutions.”

Mr Mitchell added: “Having a coordinated, multi-agency approach to tackling rough sleeping is paying off and we need to make sure that the same principles of co-operation and working with partners are applied to the wider issue of homelessness.”

The council said that official figures released in December 2018 showed that while Cornwall still had a relatively high number of rough sleepers, 53 people were reported as rough sleeping compared to 68 reported in November 2017 and 99 the year before that. 

This was a 46 per cent reduction in the total number of rough sleepers recorded in Cornwall since November 2016.

However, this number was up from the low of 40 homeless people in 2014.

Earlier this year it was reported that only 10 cities in the UK have a higher homeless rate than Cornwall, with the county receiving over £625,000 to tackle the problem, the sixth highest amount in the country.

The council said it had planned to build a facility named ‘the Somewhere Safe to Stay Hub’. 

This would be staffed 24 hours a day for seven days a week and open to anyone at imminent risk of, or already sleeping rough. 

The authority has also suggested that local letting agencies help single people, or couples without children, who are at risk to get into private rented accommodation. 

Andrew Mitchell said: “I was there at the launch of the Rough Sleeping Reduction Strategy in 2017 and we have achieved a great deal over the last two years – including nearly halving the number of rough sleepers counted on our streets. 

“But more needs to be done to prevent people becoming homeless in the first place.”
Since April 2018 Cornwall Council received 8,784 approaches for help from households threatened with homelessness. 

This is up from 8,659 in 2017 and 78 per cent of those were given advice and help to avoid becoming homeless. 

There are around 250 households in temporary accommodation in Cornwall at any one time with a third of those in bed and breakfast or hotels due to the council not having enough temporary accommodation of its own to offer them.

The council said it was working to bridge that gap by committing to buy 250 homes for people in need of temporary accommodation. 

The homes will be spread throughout Cornwall so temporary residents can still be near work, school and family.

The council also says it is building 1,000 affordable homes for local people to buy and rent in Cornwall. 

It says it is investing £200m into this project.

Last year, 3,400 new homes were built in Cornwall, with over 900 of these being affordable housing. 

People purchasing one of these affordable homes must have a connection to Cornwall and already be living here.

Mr Mitchell added: “We want anyone who is concerned about homelessness in Cornwall to give us their views on how we can work better together to really get to grips with this issue.”

The consultation for the homeless runs until Wednesday, August 7. 

More details can be found at