Oxfordshire’s Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy 2021-26

The Oxfordshire Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy 2021 – 2026 has been developed for Oxfordshire.  We are now consulting on the draft strategy and would like to hear your views about it.

Please complete this questionnaire by 21 February 2021 in response to the Draft Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy 2021 – 2026.

Copies of the draft strategy and consultation documents are available online at the bottom of this page or;

You can request a copy of the draft strategy and consultation documents by emailing EngagementTeam@Oxfordshire.gov.uk.

We would like to hear your views about the strategy, vision and the five strategic priorities.

Your responses to the following questions will help us to understand if we need to change anything in the draft strategy before the documents are finalised early in 2021. Please click the link below to complete the questionnaire. 

The  following documents are available here: draft strategy; action plan; equalities and climate impact assessment or at the bottom of this page.

Further information:

1.  Introduction

The Oxfordshire Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy 2021 – 2026 has been developed for Oxfordshire.  Before it is approved, we would like to provide you with information about the draft strategy and ask for your views about it.

Councils in Oxfordshire (Oxfordshire County Council; Oxford City Council; Cherwell, South Oxfordshire, Vale of White Horse and West Oxfordshire District Councils), together with the Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Oxford Health NHFT will work together to prevent and resolve homelessness, so that no one sleeps rough in Oxfordshire.

This strategy will underpin a transformation in the way housing, social care and health services work together and work with people in need of housing and support. It will inform future commissioning of services within Oxfordshire. 

2.  Defining homelessness

Homelessness does not just affect people visibly sleeping rough but includes those living in a range of temporary accommodation, including bed and breakfast, hostels and refuges as well as people staying temporarily with family or friends when they have no accommodation of their own. It can also apply to households who are living in such poor-quality accommodation it may not be reasonable for them to occupy it.

3.  How this strategy was developed

In 2020, Crisis undertook independent research on behalf of the Count wide Homelessness Steering Group to understand the best approach to tackling homelessness across Oxfordshire. The findings from this research and analysis of local data, have all been used to inform the development of this draft Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy 2021-2026, which aims to transform our services  and expand housing choices, particularly for rough sleepers

4. Purpose/Mission: transforming the way we respond

Developing a whole system approach is at the heart of this strategy. We need to coordinate the way services work together to prevent people from being passed between agencies without clarity as to who retains responsibility or who to contact; or from becoming lost in the gaps between services. We need to ensure we respond to the wider needs of individuals, not just their presenting or urgent issue. We will:

  • Hold relevant organisations and system leaders to account for delivering strategic objectives and service improvement, through clearer countywide governance, in relation to the prevention of and effective response to ‘multiple exclusion’ homelessness.
  • Ensure greater choice and flexibility in provision of housing and support and greater collaboration to deliver better outcomes.
  • Prevent people in need of housing and support from being passed between agencies. Establish system-wide performance indicators, focusing on performance at the ‘joins’ between services and overall outcomes of the individual, not just the project

We need to transform the way our services understand and respond to the hopes, needs and experiences of individuals. We will:          

  • Ensure our services understand and adjust for the impact of past trauma and adverse childhood experiences, particularly on those experiencing ‘multiple exclusion homelessness’.
  • Build choice into the provision of housing and support.

5. Vision and Principles


To prevent and resolve homelessness, so that no one sleeps rough in Oxfordshire.


  • We treat people in need of our services with respect
  • We acknowledge people as individuals and work with their strengths
  • We work in a ‘psychologically informed way’, understanding how past trauma and adverse childhood experiences affect people who experience homelessness
  • We actively involve people affected by homelessness in identifying solutions and offer choice wherever possible
  • We focus on the health, wellbeing and quality of life of people who experience homelessness, addressing the whole person, not just housing needs
  • We co-operate to deliver a co-ordinated and consistent service across the county

To achieve this, we have identified five priorities to drive our service development and delivery forward over the next five years.  More details about the reasons why these are priorities and the supporting evidence can be found throughout the strategy and in the separate Homelessness Service Review 2020 document. Please read the Draft Strategy for more detail. The priorities are explained below:

Priority 1: Proactively prevent homelessness 

Priority 2: Rapid response to rough sleeping 

Priority 3: Focus on the person, not the problem

Priority 4: Timely move on 

Priority 5: The right home in the right place 

6.  What are we asking your views about?

The draft strategy was developed following extensive research and it outlines five priority areas to be focussed on to make sure that services can be delivered effectively within the available staff and budget resources.

We would like your views on whether the five strategy priorities are the right priorities to meet the needs of people who may use homelessness services now or might need to use them in the future. We need you to tell us if you think there are gaps in our understanding or whether there are other more important priorities to consider when reducing and tackling homelessness and ending rough sleeping in Oxfordshire. 

7.  Equalities and Climate Impact Assessment (ECIA)

We have undertaken an assessment of the impact of delivering this strategy on individuals and groups, and on the wider community and environment. These are outlined in the Equalities and Climate Impact Assessment which is available on the consultation page.

8.  What happens next?

The consultation is open until 21 February 2021. During that time we want to hear from as many people and groups as possible.

What you tell us will be carefully analysed and the draft strategy will be amended to take account of feedback received. An action plan has been developed which will inform how the strategy will be delivered.

The final version of the strategy and action plan will be presented to lead partners for approval in Spring 2021.

If you have any suggestions about more ways to hear people's views, or need any assistance with the questionnaire or to take part in this consultation please contact: lynn.smith@oxfordshire.gov.uk 

Please read the information provided on this consultation. Your views and opinions matter. Please take the time to respond.


  • Opened
    7 Jan 2021 at 00:00
  • Closes
    21 Feb 2021 at 23:59



Contact Name Lynn Smith
Contact Email Address lynn.smith@oxfordshire.gov.uk
Contact Phone Number 07881311687
Contact Postal Address County Hall
New Road

Target Audience
  • Oxfordshire residents
  • Public sector organisations
  • Voluntary organisations and community groups
Geographical Area
  • Banbury
  • Bicester
  • Kidlington and Yarnton
  • Oxford City
  • Benson, Berinsfield and Wallingford
  • Chalgrove, Thame Watlington and Wheatley
  • Goring and Henley
  • Didcot
  • Abingdon
  • Faringdon
  • Grove and Wantage
  • Burford and Carterton
  • Charlbury, Chipping Norton and Woodstock
  • Witney