Open letter to the Housing Minister

Dear Minister, Deputy Warr

JERSEY HOMELESSNESS DEFINITION AND DATA COLLECTION

The need to define and measure homelessness in Jersey was raised by the Homelessness Cluster when it first met in December 2018, and this is the very first recommendation of the Jersey Homelessness Strategy we published in November 2020.

On 7 October 2022 you presented to the States a Definition of Homelessness, which we welcomed. In this document you stated that it will allow you to categorise homelessness so that the Housing Advice Service can target those who need support. You also stated that you plan to place the definition in legislation.

At the same time, you issued a public announcement in which you stated “there is still much more we need to do in gathering data more effectively to understand the scale, so we can better address it. This definition… …will help with that important objective”.

On 10 March 2023, you published an announcement in which you referred to the definition stating that it “ensures that our frontline services tacking homelessness are working to the same framework which will ultimately make our data gathering more consistent. In turn, over time, this will give us a better understanding of the true scale of homelessness in Jersey.” Your announcement went on to state that the “first set of homelessness statistics to be published by the Government since the new definition was introduced will be released in the next few weeks.”

The purpose of this letter is to request from you details of the progress made in collating data against the adopted homelessness definition together with details of other associated steps you have taken.

Please would you kindly provide us the following:-

  1. An update on the homelessness data you have collated since introducing the definition.
  2. The actual results of the homelessness data collated so far and details of how this will be developed and reported on in future.
  3. The goals you have set to reduce each category of homelessness set out in your definition.
  4. The timing of your plan to place the definition in legislation.

We look forward to hearing from you and, in the meantime, if you would like to meet to discuss any aspects of the above or the Homelessness Strategy we would be pleased to do so.

Yours sincerely,

Simon Burgess
Independent Chair