Plans to tackle homelessness on the Isle of Man will go before Tynwald in December.

The government’s draft homelessness strategy is currently being finalised and is part of a scheme of work undertaken by the Housing and Communities Board which was outlined in the Housing and Communities Action Plan 2022/2023.

A cross-government strategic review was commissioned in a bid to gain a full understanding of the history of homelessness in the island, including current service provision, the needs of service users and providers and the conditions required locally to enable a sustainable focus to address and prevent futur ecases of homelessness.

Earlier this week Jason Moorhouse MHK asked the Minister for Justice and Home Affairs, Jane Poole-Wilson, how many people had to stay in police cells over the last 12 months because they had no fixed address.

Mrs Poole-Wilson said that responsibility for homelessness is not a police matter, however, there are significant processes if cases involve a child or someone in danger.

It is only when a case involves a safeguarding matter that the ‘relevant agencies’ are called-in.

The government says the new strategy will concentrate on five focus areas, namely providing easy access to support services to help with potential or actual homelessness through clear pathways; providing a long lasting statutory legacy of homelessness support in the island through legislation; ensuring there is a core data set to consistently support the provision of homelessness support services and ensuring there is a regular needs assessment of people requiring homelessness support services both now and into the future.

Chair of the Housing and Communities Board, David Ashford MHK, said: ‘A one size fits all approach towards those who find themselves homeless is not the answer.

‘Therefore, a single entry point with multiple pathways is the focus of this strategy.

‘In particular, we feel it’s important to place the issue on a statutory footing, so we can prevent and address homelessness on our Island.

‘We’re grateful to our third sector partners, including Housing Matters, Praxis Care and The Salvation Army, who have been instrumental in developing this strategy and will continue to help us deliver it.

‘Anyone who needs it should have access to the right service, the right housing, at the right place and at the right time.’