The Housing Solutions service is made up of a number of different teams who work together to provide advice, assistance and support to people who are homeless or in housing need. The primary aim of the service is to prevent homelessness, with statutory homeless assessments only being carried out if prevention or alternative options fail to assist customers.
The different teams within the service work together to provide joined up services with the aim of preventing homelessness and offering choice to people in housing need. Housing Solutions works with a wide range of different customer groups and recognises that the way that individuals respond to their situation can be influenced by many factors, and as such, customers receive their own individual Housing Options Plan.
Specialist services have been developed to provide a range of integrated housing options. The Access Team provides the main route into the service, providing telephone advice to callers and those who present at Howden House. A housing support pathway ensures that a tailored, individualised approach is taken with each customer, with officers seeking to prevent homelessness through negotiation, advocacy and advice as well as the identification of alternative accommodation in the private rented sector. Where homelessness cannot be immediately prevented, customers are referred through the Pathway to caseworkers who will carry out a homeless assessment, whilst still considering additional preventions, where this is appropriate.
The service offers a homeless prevention and supported accommodation pathway for 16 and 17 year olds, including joint assessments with a social worker, ensuring that homeless 16 and 17 year olds are placed in age appropriate supported accommodation whilst a longer term assessment is undertaken.
The service manages repossession prevention and homeless prevention funds to assist home owners and tenants who are at risk of losing their accommodation as a result of affordability issues. Officers also work with landlords to secure accommodation in the private rented sector for singles and families and match customers to properties to prevent homelessness as well as discharging the Council’s housing duty
The service offers intensive support to single people through the Enhanced Housing Options service, providing intensive one to one support to single people who have multiple support needs and have difficulty securing appropriate accommodation, often as a direct result of their chaotic lifestyle and/or behaviour.
The High Support service provides intensive support to families who are homeless or who are at risk of becoming homeless due to their antisocial behaviour. Residential and floating support is provided to a small number of families 24/7. This service supports the Council’s Building Successful Families agenda.
The housing support pathway ensures that access to Council funded supported housing is managed effectively and efficiently, matching customers to the most appropriate accommodation and support available. Customers contact the Access Team and referrals to supported and temporary accommodation are managed by Housing Solutions, thereby ensuring that customers can access a wide range of housing through one central point, the Access Team.
Where homelessness cannot be prevented the Housing Solutions service will continue to provide the safety net of a statutory homeless assessment and provision of temporary accommodation, whilst caseworkers and the private rented solutions team working with customers to try and identify alternative accommodation to prevent homelessness.
The Council’s refugee protection programme is also based with the Housing Solutions service, The team work in partnership with Hull City Council and the Refugee Council to deliver the Gateway Protection Programme, resettling 90 refugees in the city each year.
The Local Assistance Scheme is another part of the Housing Solutions service. In 2013 the Department for Work and Pensions passed over responsibility for delivering some elements of the Social Fund to local authorities. The Local Assistance Scheme deals with applications for community care grants and crisis loans from any resident in the city. Applications can be made on line or via the Council’s Call Centre.
More information about our services can be found on the Homeless Advice and Options web pages.