Housing professionals gather for Lichfield District Council’s inaugural Homelessness Conference

The first Lichfield and District Homelessness Conference.
Ann Mills, Housing and Homelessness Manager at Lichfield District Council addresses delegates at the first Lichfield and District Homelessness Conference.

Lichfield District Council has hosted its first Annual Homelessness Conference bringing together local professionals from across the sector to share ideas and best practice for the prevention of homelessness and the improvement of services for those in need.

Delegates from more than 20 organisations including Bromford, STARS, Better Way, Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC), and Spring Housing attended the event at District Council House last week where they engaged in discussion to build positive relationships, identify gaps in provision and recognise emerging trends.

Homelessness is an acute issue across the country and Lichfield District is no exception. There have been 216 homeless applications so far this year mostly attributed to domestic abuse, the end of a private tenancy and people no longer wishing to accommodate family members.

An important aspect of the conference was the amount of experience in this field that was brought together. One delegate alone has spent more than 50 years working to support the homeless while another eight have more than 30 years’ experience in the sector.

The conference also welcomed a new generation committed to supporting this vital cause and keen to learn from those with expertise.

Ann Mills, Housing and Homelessness Manager at Lichfield District Council, said:

“Being homeless can be devastating and the effects can be long lasting. The conference was about bringing together local partners who play a role in preventing local people from becoming homeless – whether that’s providing housing options, support services or temporary accommodation.

“The aim of our annual conference is to create stronger working bonds between partners, help us work together better, and to identify new opportunities to keep more people in safe and secure homes locally.”

Lichfield District Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing and Local Plan, Councillor Alex Farrell, said:

"I am so proud to have been a part of the first Lichfield and District Homelessness Conference. We brought together a whole host of different experts, community groups and providers who are all playing a part in preventing local people from being homeless.

“There was an amazing 700 years' experience in the room - that's an incredible wealth of knowledge of homelessness in our area.

“The conference is all about celebrating what these organisations do to keep people in safe and secure homes locally, as well as making new connections and raising awareness of homelessness in the district.

“I want to thank everyone for coming along and sharing their knowledge and experience, and I look forward to the Homelessness Conference going from strength to strength in the next few years."

Published: 31 October 2023