Strategy launched to eradicate homelessness in Jersey


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,

said:


“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

address it.