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A three-year housing strategy highlighting affordable housing and tackling homelessness in the borough has been agreed by cabinet.

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The council said its previous housing strategy is now out of date, and it needs to re-think the ways to meet the ongoing pressures of housing demand.

The report before cabinet on Wednesday night said: “It is a challenging time for the borough and the council has to ensure that the housing provision reflects our most vulnerable residents’ needs and supports a general wellbeing of our community.”

It said that the population of the borough was expected to rise by 24,000 by 2020, placing significant pressures on housing provision.

Cllr Lesley Kelly, cabinet member for housing, said: “We have spent a lot of time reviewing the housing needs and we need to look at what needs to be done across the borough.”

The report details a number of changes to be made ahead of 2016, including: investing more in new affordable housing development; providing the right-size new housing to tackle under occupation; and developing new supported housing.

The report said the council will review its approach in dealing with homelessness caused by evictions by parents; reconsider housing options available to young single people; and establish outreach work to prevent homelessness.

New research into older people’s housing needs and issues will also be carried out and will include: assisting older people to stay in their own homes and live independently; providing assistance to those downsizing; modernising the sheltered housing provision; and developing new housing suited for older people.

The report will now go out to consultation with the community, residents and council partners.

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