Housing, homelessness and rough sleeping strategy 2023-2028
Our Housing, homelessness and rough sleeping strategy 2023-2028 sets out our intentions to provide more affordable and low carbon homes, improve conditions for renters in all tenures and go further in preventing homelessness and rough sleeping.
As the housing authority for Oxford, we are legally required to have a homelessness strategy and a strategy on rough sleeping. While there is no legal need for a housing strategy, there is a strong correlation between housing, homelessness and rough sleeping.
In 2021 we undertook a review of housing and homelessness which produced an evidence base, a draft vision and five priorities for action. Endorsed by two rounds of public consultation in 2021 and 2022 and with an updated evidence base and action plan for 2023/24, these form the basis for our new combined strategy.
Vision and priorities
Our vision for the combined strategy is:
‘By 2028, addressing Oxford’s need for more affordable housing, improving the standard of housing in the city while lowering its carbon impact, with services and partnerships that are focussed on preventing people losing their homes, rapidly rehouse those who become homeless, and ending the need to sleep rough.’
The five priority areas flowing from this vision are:
- providing more, affordable homes
- great homes for all
- housing for a net zero carbon future
- preventing homelessness and adopting a rapid rehousing response
- ending rough sleeping
The end of pandemic support measures and a rapidly unfolding cost of living crisis are likely to increase demand for council services in what is already a challenging financial climate. Continued service transformation and partnership working will be paramount in helping us rise to these challenges and deliver solutions to our five priorities.
Providing more, affordable homes
- Our housing company OX Place will deliver the biggest council house building programme since the 1970s
- Working with housing associations, our target is for 1,600 new affordable homes by the end of 2025/26 – with at least 850 of these let at social rent
- We will also continue to work with neighbouring councils to help ensure that more affordable housing is built in and around Oxford
Great homes for all
- Our tenants will have more say in the way their homes and communities are managed
- Our services will use the experience of supporting Oxford residents during the pandemic to become more locally focused
- We are investing £51m on improvements to estates, maintenance and refurbishments in the next four years
- Adoption of a citywide selective licensing scheme in September means Oxford is the only council in England requiring a licence for all private rented homes – our licensing schemes will improve conditions for private rented tenants
Housing for a net zero carbon future
- OX Place’s new homes will be a key part of delivering this priority
- Standards for new developments will go beyond government targets, with OX Place aiming for zero carbon by the end of this decade
- We will invest £8.7m to improve energy efficiency in council homes
- We will also work to improve energy ratings for privately rented and owner occupied homes
Preventing homelessness and adopting a rapid rehousing response
- We will put this priority at the heart of our services
- Early, joined-up intervention will sustain tenancies and prevent people from becoming homeless
- Where this is unavoidable, we will help people into a stable, suitable home as quickly as possible
Ending rough sleeping
- Ending rough sleeping is also a national priority and we aim to ensure that nobody should have to sleep rough in Oxford
- A new £3.8m ‘housing led’ service tackling homelessness across Oxfordshire was launched in April
- The Oxfordshire Homelessness Alliance’s default model for preventing and reducing rough sleeping is to provide settled homes as a first step in the road away from life on the streets
We began implementing the new strategy in April 2023.
Download strategy documents
Housing, homelessness and rough sleeping strategy 2023-28 (60 pages, PDF)
Homelessness review and evidence base (updated January 2023) (144 pages, PDF)