Homelessness prevention in York gets £251k boost

A new grant of £251,000 to help reduce homelessness in 2019/20 has been awarded to City of York Council by the government.

The money will contribute to work to create safe and supported housing options for people with complex needs who are ready to stop rough sleeping and begin to move back into mainstream housing. This will include an increased use of our making every adult matter service, known as MEAM.

It will also be used to provide early help and prevention services as outlined in our Homelessness Strategy 2018-23 launched in June this year. We’ll be providing additional outreach support and use of a targeted approach to work with rough sleepers and single homeless people – some of whom have complex needs – to help them secure and remain in accommodation.

York backs national homelessness campaign

 City of York Council is supporting national Homelessness Awareness Week (30 November to 8 December 2016) to highlight the support and advice available to people to help them into secure homes.

This annual week of social, educational and awareness-raising events across the country, aims to highlight homelessness and the continued efforts of organisations and staff to support people at risk of homelessness or who are homeless.

Here in York, a multi-agency partnership continues to call for people to support the city’s homeless charities who tirelessly support people off the street all year round. The partnership asks people not to give direct to anyone on the streets but to please donate direct to the expert charities.

For the campaign, an easy and safe way of giving to local homeless charities is being promoted and people who wish to help are asked to give £3 by texting ‘York33£3’ to ‘70070’.

Homeless households reduce as prevention measures continue

Rough sleeper number up on target in November

Rough-sleeper-London-006A report on homelessness shows that despite the pressures of the Boxing Day Floods, numbers of temporarily homeless people were lower than forecast.

This and other outcomes will be presented to the Executive Member for Housing and Safer Communities on 18 July at 3pm, along with proposed targets and priorities for 2016/17.

In 2015/16 the council exceeded its target and reduced the number in temporary accommodation to 53. Statutory homelessness also continues to reduce with 91 cases in York in 2015/16 (an 11.6 per cent decrease on the previous year) which is in contrast to a national increase of 5.8 per cent. Added to that, 630 homeless prevention cases were successfully handled that year which the report recognises as a vital part of the service and significantly contributes to the reduction in statutory homelessness.

Providing bed and breakfast for families is recognised as a measure of last resort and then for no more than six weeks. As of the end of March 2016, there was only one household accommodated in bed and breakfast and this was not a family.

In addition, the council’s highly-successful Older Persons Housing Specialist exceeded targets by supporting older residents to meet their changing housing needs, and the service has been extended for a further six months.

Despite ongoing work, the commitment of agencies, continued resources and new flexible methods of working, the number of rough sleepers in York rose to 18 in November 2015.

York’s ongoing interventions by the council and partners – including Arc Light and the Salvation Army – means that the city has the resources to accommodate longer-term homeless people meaning that no-one need sleep rough in York. The city’s No Second Night Out scheme also helps rough sleeper in the city to find a place in a hostel.

The advice available to residents include work around mental health and housing to help people at risk to secure and maintain tenancies, while infrastructure improvements are being proposed for the Ordnance Lane temporary accommodation site.

National changes bring new challenges into social housing which could lead to the reduction in available affordable housing for rent which is likely to place additional pressures on the service.