Housing Strategies

Homelessness review and housing, homelessness and rough sleeping strategy evidence base 2021

In 2021, we held a public consultation on what should be included in a new housing, homelessness and rough sleeping strategy.

This consultation was the first step in developing a new five year strategy to replace the Housing and Homelessness Strategy 2018-21.

As the first step in shaping the development of the new strategy, we undertook a review of housing and homelessness in Oxford. This provided an evidence base for the consultation.

The review and evidence base includes information about numbers of homeless people and families who are homeless, and how services have performed to support homeless people. It also includes wider housing issues, such as:

  • our role as a social landlord
  • what’s happening in the private rented sector
  • plans to build more affordable housing in the future
  • the need to tackle the role housing plays in carbon emissions

We also drafted a vision and five emerging priorities for the new strategy, and these are based on the information in the review and evidence base.

We wanted people to tell us if we are on the right track with the draft vision and emerging priorities. Your views and feedback are important to make sure we include all relevant evidence about housing, homelessness and rough sleeping, and that we formulate the right vision and priorities for the new strategy.

Vision and emerging priorities

Our draft vision for the new combined strategy is:

“By 2030, meeting 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 rough sleeping.”

The five emerging priority areas flowing from this vision are:

  • building more, affordable homes
  • great homes for all
  • housing for a zero carbon future
  • preventing homelessness and adopting a rapid rehousing response
  • ending rough sleeping

The areas of work that are likely to fall under these priorities are:

Building more, affordable homes

  • The delivery of our ambitious house building programme through our housing company, OX Place, in building nearly 1,900 new homes in the next 10 years
  • Building on our existing good relationships with housing associations to encourage their investment in the city, in order to scale up the delivery of affordable homes
  • Working with our neighbouring districts to secure the homes outside the city to meet the unmet housing need of the people of Oxford

Great homes for all

  • Greater empowerment of council tenants, giving them more say on their homes and neighbourhoods, and greater ability to scrutinise and challenge the council as a landlord
  • The implementation of a new locality based service delivery model, firmly rooted in the community, more responsive and assessable to the needs of residents
  • Improving the private rented sector by engaging with landlords and tenants, and implementing a comprehensive licencing scheme

Housing for a zero carbon future

  • Rollout of an ambitious investment programme in our housing stock, retrofitting and in some cases rebuilding our homes to ensure they meet the standards required to meet the climate crisis
  • Ensure high standards of energy efficiency and build quality for new developments, in particular those delivered by OX Place
  • Working to improve energy ratings in the private rented sector

Preventing homelessness and adopting a rapid rehousing response

  • Putting the prevention of homelessness at the heart of all council services, including the reconfiguration of our housing services to support more people to stay in their homes, alongside other improvements to council services. Ensuring every opportunity is taken across the organisation to prevent homelessness 
  • Delivering services and building partnerships that tackle the trauma of homelessness, repeat homelessness and avoiding the need to be rehoused, through earlier and pre-emptive interventions. Supporting people in both the social and private sector to sustain their tenancies, using data and networks to identify those in greatest need, with the ability to deliver suitable, effective support
  • A rapid rehousing/housing-led response to all forms of homelessness, so that homeless people can move to a stable and suitable home quickly, including minimising the use of temporary accommodation, and enabling effective access for homelessness households to affordable social housing and the private rented sector

Ending rough sleeping

  • Seek to end the need for anyone to sleep rough on the streets of Oxford by 2024 (in line with national objectives)
  • Establish a new countywide approach to preventing and relieving rough sleeping, with new jointly commissioned arrangements across local government, voluntary sector partners and health in Oxfordshire
  • Enable a housing-led approach to rough sleeping, rapidly moving people on from the street to a new settled home, with more use of flexible support and less use of interim accommodation

Take part

Public consultation took part between 22 June and 2 August 2021. 

Next steps

We used the results of consultation to update the review, vision and priorities and prepare a draft strategy for further consultation. The new housing and homelessness strategy will then be approved and implemented.

Download the consultation documents

Homelessness review and evidence base 2021 (148 pages)

Summary homelessness review and evidence base 2021 (16 pages)