Leaders from across Essex are working together to look at how they can beat homelessness in the county.

The Office of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex organised a seminar on February 2 to consider the new Homelessness Reduction Act.

The event brought together senior officers from a range of statutory bodies including Local Authority Chief Housing Strategy Officers and Homelessness Officers as well as representatives from Essex Police, the Department for Work and Pensions, Clinical Commissioning Groups and a variety of voluntary sector organisations.

Around 80 people attended the seminar which was held at the Cloudfm County Ground in Chelmsford.

Topics focussed on understanding how the Homelessness Reduction Act will impact organisations, considering and understanding how the Homelessness Reduction Act links with other strategies such as the Supported Housing Funding Review and identifying and agreeing an outline strategy of how agencies will work together to meet the requirements of the Homelessness Reduction Act and prevent homelessness.

Roger Hirst, the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, said: “Safe and secure communities are the bedrock on which we build success and wellbeing for all.

“Having a safe and secure place to live is something everyone should have.

“Sadly not everyone in our county does and homelessness is recognised as a growing problem.

“One of the key areas in my Police and Crime Plan is to reduce reoffending and ensuring our residents have somewhere to live is a key factor.

“The introduction of the new Homelessness Reduction Act offers challenges and opportunities for Essex and it is vital that everyone, especially those in key decision-making positions are working together to achieve the best outcomes.”