13th February 2013

New vision to boost housing and tackle homelessness in Bournemouth

13th February 2013

Providing more affordable housing, reducing homelessness, and allocating housing to local people most in need are some of the top priorities in a new housing vision for Bournemouth.

The seven year strategy, which will be considered at Cabinet on Tuesday 19 February, sets out eight housing aspirations for the Council to focus resources on:

  • Ensuring the right supply of new housing including maximising affordable housing
  • Getting the most use out of existing homes including bringing empty homes back into use
  • Tackling homelessness and rough sleeping
  • Specialist accommodation available for people with different needs
  • Improving the management and standard of privately rented homes
  • Regeneration of areas such as Boscombe
  • Encouraging greener homes
  • Managing resources in the most efficient way

Addressing homelessness and rough sleeping continues to be a high priority. The Council offers a wide range of different services such as a rough sleeper outreach team who encourage people to access services inside and provide an enhanced service for severe weather conditions. There is also a strong investment in providing support services for other vulnerable people including young people, care leavers, and people with learning disabilities, as well as plans to reshape older people's housing to better meet their needs.

Other key actions include introducing five year fixed-term tenancies for new social housing tenants, a Council housing new-build programme of 105 homes over the next few years, and housing regeneration work to help address some of the housing related issues in Boscombe. Actions will also involve promoting the new Dorset Register of Accredited Landlords Scheme, increased debt / money management advice services, targeting enforcement to address property disrepair and piloting new low carbon technology.

Councillor Robert Lawton, Cabinet Member for Housing, said: "I'm pleased to introduce the proposed new housing strategy for Bournemouth. It demonstrates our commitment to further improving housing within the Borough, which will help to shape our communities and meet future housing needs.

"The public consultation feedback, which highlighted many points including the need to address welfare reform and issues in Boscombe, played a big part in the development of the final strategy.

"We're facing challenging times with significant reductions in central Government grant funding and policy changes that will impact on housing issues in the town but I'm confident we have a solid way forward, which we can deliver in partnership with other organisations."

National housing policy changes include major welfare reforms for people receiving these benefits and local authorities being given more flexibility in allocating Council housing.

If approved by Cabinet, detailed action plans to deliver each of the aspirations will be drawn up for the start of the new financial year.


  • It is a legal requirement for the Council to have an up-to-date housing strategy and homelessness strategy.
  • The housing strategy pulls together all of the housing issues into one document. It therefore also comprises the homelessness strategy, empty homes strategy, private sector housing strategy, housing related support strategy and the learning disability housing plan.
  • Bournemouth has a population of 183,500 with a predicted growth of 10 per cent over the next decade.
  • Bournemouth comprises a total of 82,374 households.
  • More information about the housing strategy can be found here