PLANS have been unveiled to roll out a new strategy to tackle homelessness in Oldham.

The Oldham Homelessness Prevention and Reduction Strategy will be presented to the council's cabinet next week and will set out what the local authority aims to do to those in need for the next four years.

It has been "developed following a comprehensive review of homelessness in the borough between 2016 and 2020, particularly focusing on the latter two years since the introduction of the Homelessness Reduction Act".

A Temporary Accommodation Strategy has also been drawn up to run alongside the plans with more demands placed on the council to find homes for people during the pandemic.

The act was described as the "biggest change in homelessness legislation for over a decade", placing a statutory requirement upon council to "provide universal housing advice and to take reasonable steps to try and prevent and relieve homelessness among eligible groups".

The new proposals aim to lead to "an increase in the number of households achieving a positive outcome after approaching services for help" and a "decrease in households becoming homeless overall".

The local authority's plan aims to "provide a clear and transparent focus in the council’s mission to prevent and relieve homelessness".

It aims to do this through advice and information, early identification, pre-crisis intervention and preventing recurring homelessness and partnership arrangements.

A report for the plans states the reasons for homelessness have remained "largely unchanged" since the last strategy was published in 2016.

Oldham has a "higher level of households asked to leave by family and friends" and a "higher level of people given a notice to leave their private rented accommodation".

The borough also "has a higher level of people leaving Home Office accommodation than the national average".

The report said "applications to the local authority for homelessness assistance have been subject to seasonal increase and decline, but overall have risen" during a review from 2016 to 2020.

It added: "Alongside this there has started to be a slight rise in the number of households approaching the local authority once already homeless – and subsequently owed the relief duty – rather than at a stage where homelessness can still be prevented.

"Our goal for the new strategy is to try and reverse this trend through effective advice and pre-crisis intervention, as outlined in our priorities."

It has been recommended for the cabinet to approve the Oldham Homelessness Prevention and Reduction Strategy and the Temporary Accommodation Strategy.