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Housing, homelessness and offending Jamie Harding, Centre for Offenders and Offending.

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Presentation on theme: "Housing, homelessness and offending Jamie Harding, Centre for Offenders and Offending."— Presentation transcript:

1 Housing, homelessness and offending Jamie Harding, Centre for Offenders and Offending

2 Structure Background and previous research Housing options, legislation and difficulties Initiatives and signs of hope in some areas Some points specific to offenders, some to young people, others of broader relevance

3 Background and previous research Links between offending, social exclusion and poor housing Particular problems for people coming out of prison Also frequent links to addictions and mental health problems Looked after children / care leavers particularly likely to offend and become homeless

4 The Homelessness Legislation and the Local Authority Role 1977 Housing (Homeless Persons) Act placed obligation on local authorities to secure accommodation for household that was: Homeless Not intentionally homeless In priority need With a local connection

5 2002 Amendment Priority need categories extended to include: 16-17 year olds Care leavers to age of 21 People institutional due to a vulnerable background (including prison) Local authority traditionally preferred option but threatened by ‘bedroom tax’

6 Implications of bedroom tax Families with separate bedrooms for children may find themselves losing benefit One bedroom accommodation set aside for transfers High rise housing no longer offers an option for single households

7 Other key benefit changes Substantial increase in non-dependent deduction ‘Single room rent’ extended to age of 35 (some exemptions to benefit cuts for care leavers and people moving on from supported accommodation) Private sector less favoured option of homeless people

8 Resolving the social landlords’ allocations dilemma Tension between responsibility to meet needs and other housing management objectives Tackled in Newcastle through Pathways advisers, Move on Meetings with RAG system, Prevention from Evictions protocol, Newcastle Families project

9 Other Initiatives Housing First run by Cyrenians Shelter and Foundation schemes to provide better advice in prisons Young Person’s Service run by Your Homes Newcastle Close partnership working between housing and social services staff for care leavers RAG assessment introduced as part of Pathway Plan with possibility of intensive support

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