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BRISTOL CITY COUNCIL HOUSING OPTIONS & ADVICE SERVICE Introductions Housing situation in Bristol.

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Presentation on theme: "BRISTOL CITY COUNCIL HOUSING OPTIONS & ADVICE SERVICE Introductions Housing situation in Bristol."— Presentation transcript:

1 BRISTOL CITY COUNCIL HOUSING OPTIONS & ADVICE SERVICE Introductions Housing situation in Bristol

2 Housing Options & Advice Services  The Hub  Homeless Prevention & Temporary Accommodation  Housing Access Team  Single Homelessness and Rough Sleeping  Welfare Rights & Money Advice Service

3 Housing situation in Bristol  Population of Bristol  How many council properties  How many do we sell each year  How many new RSL properties built each year  Net loss p.a.

4 Housing situation in Bristol  How many people on the waiting list  How many are new applicants  How many homeless applicants p.a.  How many acceptances p.a.  What are most common reasons for homelessness

5 Homelessness Prevention and Accommodation Team  Team Structure  Functions and objectives  Reducing B&B use & developing better alternatives  Roles of the team  Prevention work  Accessing private sector accommodation

6 Team Objectives  Bring empty homes back into use  Reduce use of B&B & unsuitable temporary accommodation  Prevent homelessness (families and expectant mothers)  Improve access to private sector tenancies  Administer the council’s furnished tenancy scheme  Administer the Heading Home Forum  Develop alternatives to B&B  Manage some emergency accommodation

7 Reducing B&B Use June 199620 households (11families) March 200195 households March 2002 146 households Feb. 2003 265 households (55 families) March 2004 213 households (17 families) Dec. 2004 105 households ( 6 families)

8 Reducing B&B - Key issues  Government focus on families: no families or expectant mums in for more than 6 weeks – this target is now law.  Family sizes  Numbers of singles and their needs  Lack of suitable temporary and permanent accommodation for singles  Lack of Supporting People funds

9 Developing Alternatives to B&B FAMILIES  Trinity Lodge & Fortfield Road  BCC emergency housing units  B&Bs developing self-contained units  A new family scheme ?  Domestic Abuse Safe Houses (Next Link)  Mother and Baby Homes  Increasing access to the private sector

10 Developing Alternatives to B&B SINGLES  Victoria Street Hostel; Spring House; Tollhouse Court  Pipeline : St Georges House (Young People)  ClearSprings – move on role  Role of BHP Development Sub Group

11 Roles Within the Team  Housing Adviser (Empty Homes)  Temporary Accommodation coordinator  Housing Adviser (Family Deposit Bond)  Housing Adviser (Furnished Tenancies)  Emergency Housing Officer  Heading Home Forum Worker

12 Preventing Homelessness – Families and Expectant Mothers  Currently a decentralised family homeless service – shortly to change  Central team of 5 Prevention Officers (including CEED Trainee)  Outreach service to 3 Divisional Areas: Easton (Central); Bedminster/Knowle (South); Henbury (North) – not yet operational

13 Homelessness Prevention (Families) ‘Early intervention in cases of potential homelessness to enable families to retain their accommodation, or take another housing option, that prevents them from having to present to the local authority as homeless’

14 Why Prevention ?  Government lead  More cost effective  Better service to clients – more choice  Diminishing social housing to respond to homelessness

15 What is Prevention Work?  Mediation between landlord and tenant  Resolving tenancy issues – HB problems  Mediation in family disputes  Advice, including money matters  Offering other accommodation options, especially private sector  Prevention Fund used on a ‘spend to save’ basis

16 Prevention – is it successful ?  500 family cases closed since March 2004  387 (77%) prevented from presenting under the homelessness legislation  127 found private sector housing  51 tenancies saved  £200,000+ saved because cases were not placed in B&B

17 Accessing Private Sector Accommodation LANDLORD INCENTIVES  Deposit Bond Schemes – Singles and Families  Free Insurance (arrears and damage)  Payments of deposit and rent in advance  Grants for renovations  HB support service

18 The Hub – Multi-Agency Advice Centre Opened 1995, with the key aims to:  Provide effective holistic responses to the needs of client groups  Provide coordinated services e.g. housing, social services and health

19 What Was Life Like Then?  Relatively easy to obtain council accommodation  Direct access hostels  No housing benefit restrictions  20 people in B&B  One Homelessness Officer

20 What’s Life Like Now?  Much less council accommodation available (about 5,000 homes lost)  Priority access to hostels  Housing Benefit restrictions  Increasing property prices  Drug use  100+ single people in B&B  Massive increase in B&B expenditure

21 The Hub Tried to Carry On…  7 Homelessness Officers  Increased referrals to them from the front of house team  Increased stress / sickness amongst staff  Not workable

22 Independent Evaluation The Recommendations:  Cannot carry on with the same model  Bring the front of house team into council management  Develop effective monitoring systems  Redefine Shelter’s involvement

23 The Homelessness Prevention Agenda (ODPM) ‘You can’t help everyone’  Verification of homelessness and more home visits  Homelessness Prevention Fund  Reduced use of B&B  Homelessness Prevention Workers are the first point of contact

24 Single Homelessness & Rough Sleeping Team  Commissioning  We currently receive £720,000 in ODPM homelessness grant  We use grant funds to purchase services which will meet Bristol’s 5 ODPM homelessness targets (currently 15 separate services.  We work closely with service providers to alter, improve and monitor services

25 Bristol’s Homelessness Strategy The team is responsible for:  Bringing together the strategy (published August 2003)  Coordinating the Strategy Action Plan  Working in wide partnership to ensure that project developments meet Strategy priorities  Facilitating a range of Homelessness Consortium meetings and forums

26 24/7 Homelessness Assessment Centre The Purpose Provide coordinated multi-agency health, housing and support services, with:  Detailed needs assessments  Client contracts and action plans  Clear routes into appropriate services

27 Night Centre Flexible Day Services 24 Short Stay, Intensive Support Hostel Bedspaces The Model

28 The Centre Will:  Bring together  Focus  Structure  Build on and improve The services, skills, knowledge and expertise of a wide range of agencies, within a core of flexible day services, a Night Centre and dedicated intensive support hostel bedspaces.

29 The Centre Won’t Be:  A dumping ground  The solution to everyone’s needs  More housing  Another Hub Advice Centre  A replacement for other key services

30 Housing Options  Our Housing Options pack is on line now for you to use with clients  We do not have enough LA properties for everyone  We need every one to be more realistic about their housing aspirations  There are lots of opportunities to access private rented sector tenancies  Shared housing does work for many clients  Private rented accommodation often available in areas where there is no LA stock

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