As discussed with Angela Woodhouse, please find below a list of changes that have been made in the Housing Service over the last two years, referenced in my email and copies of documents listed below.
We have virtually ceased the use of B&B accommodation (except in emergencies)
Taken on a portfolio of nightly paid self-contained temporary accommodation procured through a number of Temporary Accommodation Providers
Adopted a Temporary Accommodation Strategy (attached)
Purchased 29 units of self-contained accommodation to use as temporary accommodation
Purchased and leased a further 11 units of shared accommodation
Amended the appointment calendars to ensure that more customers approaching as homeless on the day can have a same day appointment (8 available homeless on the day appointments each day) and a calendar for booked appointments
Made changes so that if customers approach late in day or there are no homeless on the day appointments available, we will arrange temporary accommodation for those applicants where there is reason to believe they are eligible, homeless and in priority need, rather than just provide the Out of Hours telephone number. This has result is very few approaches of applicants to the Out of Hours service.
Drafted a Temporary Accommodation Policy (see attached)
Brought back into the Housing Advice Service, from Customer Services, the Housing Advice Triage service as the first point of contact for customers approaching as homeless.
Introduced new template licence agreements, depending on the type of property occupied (attached please note this is held on our system hence the format and red writing)
Expanded the Housing Advice service, so we have a larger team (from a team of 5.5 FTEs to a team of 18 FTEs - including officers focusing on homelessness prevention and a change the management structure to include Senior Officers and a Manager of the Team) .
Contracted a nationally recognised Housing Consultant to review the housing advice service, the review was very complimentary and did not identify any significant areas for service improvement
Training rolled out to all new staff including specific training relating to Temporary Accommodation to over case law, suitability, ending duty
Any questions please dont hesitate to come back to me