Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy 2022 to 2025

Priority two

To identify those at risk of becoming homeless at the earliest possible stage, and to intervene proactively to prevent them becoming homeless

2.1

Action - develop agreed indicators of early signs of potential homelessness to promote and encourage early referrals to service

  • target / outcome - short set of agreed indicators used by all relevant agencies/partners
  • year 1

2.2

Action - with registered providers and other partners, develop a ‘tenancy ready’ approach which incentivises those who have not had a previous tenancy, or whose previous tenancy failed, to undertake appropriate preparatory work for their tenancy;

  • target / outcome - fewer tenancies failing in first 2 years
  • year 2

2.3

Action - continue to work with health partners to maximise impact of self-referral services, befriending, social prescribing and other initiatives in support of homelessness prevention.

  • target / outcome - support created for households with low level mental health issues including isolation
  • year 2

2.4

Action - review the hospital discharge process and consider new protocol for homeless patients, and review provision of shared step-down beds

  • target / outcome - support for those leaving hospital
  • year 1

2.5

Action - review data sharing process with partner agencies

  • target / outcome - agreed criteria for risk of homelessness and support needs, used by all relevant agencies/partners
  • year 2

2.6

Action - continue to work with partners to develop and implement a ‘tell us once’ referral pathway for victims and survivors of domestic violence and abuse, including exploring a Safeguarding Information Sharing Agreement

  • target / outcomes - improved service for victims and survivors of domestic violence and abuse (linked to the Council’s Domestic Abuse Strategy)
  • year 2

2.7

Action - ensure housing officers are trained and aware of the potential complexities of dealing with domestic violence and abuse in LGBTQ+ communities, with male victims, minority ethnic groups and other minoritized communities

  • target / outcome - improved service for victims and survivors of domestic violence and abuse (linked to the Council’s Domestic Abuse Strategy)
  • year 2

2.8

Action - Together with the Community Safety department team and in line with the Domestic Abuse Strategy, conduct a comprehensive needs analysis of housing options for survivors of domestic violence and abuse. Ensure a wide range of safe accommodation options are available to victims, survivors and their children. (this may include refuges, sanctuary schemes and specialist accommodation as required)

  • target / outcome - improved service for victims and survivors of domestic violence and abuse (linked to the Council’s Domestic Abuse Strategy)
  • year 2

2.9

Action - encourage landlords to contact the Council at an earlier stage. Consider improving options for direct contact and discussion. Continue to negotiate with landlords to secure retention of the tenancy wherever possible

  • target /outcome - preventing homelessness for more households where private sector tenancy is coming to an end
  • year 1

2.10

Action - improve application and review process of the Council’s Homelessness Prevention Fund and Discretionary Housing Payments to help address rent arrears as soon as practicable, both for housing officers and partner agencies.

  • target / outcome - preventing homelessness for more households where private sector tenancy is coming to an end
  • year 1

2.11

Action - continuing to work with mental health services to identify clients at risk of becoming homeless

  • target / outcome - preventing homelessness for more people with mental health issues
  • year 2

2.12

Action - review eligibility criteria for rent deposit schemes to maximise their impact

  • target / outcomes - more people able to access private rented sector
  • year 3

2.13

Action - ensure that ‘Duty to Refer’ policy is fully understood and implemented by all statutory agencies

  • target / outcome - earlier notice where people are likely to be homeless
  • year 1

2.14

Action - explore and develop links with probation and prison resettlement teams to enable engagement with ex-offenders at risk of becoming homeless.

  • target / outcome - Improved service for ex-offenders
  • year 2

2.15

Action - Continue to work with partnership agencies to enable accommodation for offenders to be sourced prior to release

  • target / outcome - improved service for ex-offenders
  • year 1

2.16

Action - investigate further options for emergency accommodation on release from prison or other institution for both male and female medium to high risk ex-offenders

  • target / outcome - improved service for ex-offenders
  • year 2

2.17

Action - Work with prisons to encourage an initial assessment of housing options when people first go into prison, including options for retaining a tenancy where appropriate

  • target / outcomes - improved service for ex-offenders
  • year 3

2.18

Action - continue to work with armed forces champion and ensure clear information is available for those who have served in the armed forces. Make every effort to identify applicants who are serving, or have served in the armed forces at an early stage)

  • target / outcome - continue to supports our commitment in the armed services covenant and ensure service personnel and their families can access all available homelessness and housing services
  • year 3

2.19

Action - continue to operate and follow shared protocols between Housing and Children’s Services. Continue to improve partnership working between Housing and Children’s Services to ensure a clear understanding of the responsibilities of both services both internally and with partners

  • target / outcome - better understanding for officers and partners of respective roles. Improved joined up services
  • year 2

2.20

Action - continue to operate close and effective joint working between the Housing Service and Adult Social Care teams within the council to improve joint working, provide staff training. Explore shared protocols where this will improve the service to clients and identify potential homelessness as early as possible.

  • target / outcome - better understanding for officers and partners of respective roles. Improved joined up services
  • year 2