The Jersey Homelessness Strategic Board (the Board), established in 2019, has published
its strategy outlining eight key priorities to tackle, and end, homelessness in Jersey.
The Jersey Homelessness Strategy has been developed in collaboration with representatives
from social housing providers, third sector and private sector organisations and government
departments. It follows research and surveys undertaken by a specialist housing consultant
which detailed the scale of the widely unrecognised problem in the island.
The social and economic effects of Covid-19 have brought the issue of homelessness into
even sharper focus. Many organisations have been working tirelessly to help people needing
their support because they have nowhere else to go. The Strategy sets out a joined-up
approach that builds on the great work that these organisations do and have done
individually up until now.
It aims to educate more people on the issues in order to benefit
those who are affected by it. Guy Le Maistre, Vice Chairman of The Shelter Trust, said:
“At the beginning of the Covid-19 outbreak, the demand for temporary or emergency shelter
shot up rapidly, and there were too many people for the hostels to cope with and for people
to be able to socially distance. Different organisations worked together to quickly find
additional accommodation as a temporary solution. This was a real positive, but we need to
have permanent measures in place to resolve the ongoing problem."
Homelessness exists in Jersey, whether it’s in the obvious and visible form of rough sleeping
or the less obvious challenges around access to housing, unsuitable or unsafe
accommodation and the threat of eviction. Simon Burgess, Independent Chair of the Board,
“Becoming homeless is one of the worst things that can happen to someone, but it generally
happens because of some other root cause, such as losing a job, a divorce, domestic abuse
or other vulnerabilities including mental illness or substance abuse. Without these root
causes being tackled the results can have a devastating impact not only on the individuals
affected but also their ability to contribute to society and the economy. Our vision is ending
homelessness in Jersey, which will be achieved through a focus on eight initial priorities that
we have identified.”
The eight key priorities of the Jersey Homelessness Strategy are:
1. Understand and define homelessness by providing a statutory definition and clear
messages to promote a shared understanding of the issue.
2. Evidence the scale and nature of the issue so that we can plan how to prevent and