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Information and public services for the Island of Jersey

L'înformâtion et les sèrvices publyis pouor I'Île dé Jèrri

Homelessness definition published

07 October 2022

​The Minister for Housing and Communities, Deputy David Warr, has published a formal definition of homelessness in Jersey. 

The definition has been endorsed by the Jersey Homelessness Cluster, a collaboration of the Government of Jersey and more than 30 organisations delivering emergency support and homelessness services. The Cluster was set up to implement the Ministerial Commitments to the independent Jersey Homelessness Strategy.

The Minister has chosen to adopt the ETHOS typology, designed by the European Federation of National Organisations working with the Homeless (FEANTSA), to give a common language for homelessness in the Island. ETHOS includes, in its framework, four core areas; rooflessness, houselessness, living in insecure housing and living in inadequate housing. There are some additions to the ETHOS categorisation to reflect Jersey. 

Rooflessness – without a shelter of any kind, described by many as “sleeping rough” Houselessness – with a place to sleep but temporarily in institutions or shelters

Living in insecure housing – threatened with exclusion because of insecure tenancies, eviction, or domestic violence 

Living in inadequate housing – in caravans or illegal campsites, in unfit housing or in extreme overcrowding 

The social rental banding system has recognised homelessness as a category of housing need for some time. But this more precise definition will better inform policies and procedures as to the type and level of assistance that a person can access, such as advice and help in securing accommodation. 

The definition also ensures that frontline services tackling homelessness in Jersey are working to the same definition, which will make data gathering more consistent and enhance the understanding of the true scale of homelessness. 

The Minister for Housing and Communities, Deputy David Warr, said: "Jersey is not exempt from the challenges of homelessness, which, as this definition shows, can take on many forms and requires varied types of support and accommodation solutions to help vulnerable Islanders who are homeless or threatened with homelessness.

“A lot of progress has been made recently - the Housing Advice Service is up and running, with its Critical Support Team working with the Homeless Link charity to develop its service. An excellent new women-only homeless shelter has also been opened by the Shelter Trust, providing a crucial missing capability in the Island’s homelessness offer. But 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, which I’m publishing ahead of World Homelessness Day this coming Monday, will help with that important objective”. 

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