Action to be taken to tackle problems and housing issues for addicts in Bournemouth
Steps will be taken to improve housing and services for those with drug and alcohol problems in Boscombe.
Members of the Boscombe Regeneration Partnership have agreed a number of activities following ongoing concerns about the concentration of housing and services in the area aimed at people with substance abuse problems.
The Bournemouth district contains a range of facilities for vulnerable people including two residential rehabilitation centres for people with drug and alcohol problems, treatment centres and housing for those with mental health problems and homeless people.
Some of these facilities are being managed well. However, there are concerns about how some of the centres are being run.
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Sue Bickler, Head of Community Regeneration said: "As a Partnership we are committed to finding solutions and taking action and we are determined that we will make a real difference in Boscombe.
"A combination of direct action by a number of agencies and regeneration was agreed. We will focus on the most problematic properties throughout Boscombe. We will do all we can to reduce this concentration of services that lead to a high number of people with drug and alcohol problems in the area, and will work to ensure that provision focuses on local need only."
Actions to improve Boscombe will be led by Bournemouth Borough Council. They will include working with landlords to improve standards of 29 specific residential properties identified as causing a problem in Boscombe.
The Boscombe Regeneration Partnership will also ensure that Care Quality Commission guidelines are being met, step up targeted inspections and use existing planning powers to prevent the expansion of services and housing aimed at those with addiction issues and other vulnerable adults.
Action will be also taken to reduce the number of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) with the Council able to purchase those causing greatest concern and convert them into flats, while a partnership with South West Prisons will reduce or prevent the release of offenders without an established local connection to the area.
Gary Josey, Service Direction for Housing Landlord said: "Providing affordable housing in Bournemouth is a key priority for this Council and it is important, especially in an area like Boscombe, that we are providing the right type of good quality housing.
"By converting some of the HMOs in Boscombe, this will have a significant impact on helping to revitalise the area as well as helping to meet the demand for suitable accommodation for those residents who are on the Council's housing register."