Exeter gets share of £654,000 to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping

Exeter gets share of £654,000 to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping

2016-03-13-07-00-58

Tackling homelessness and rough sleeping in Exeter received a big boost today with news that the city has won part of £654,000 government funding.

Working closely with homelessness providers and partners in the community and voluntary sector, along with East Devon, Mid Devon and Teignbridge District Councils, Exeter will receive a share of the pot to help prevent homelessness through innovative solutions and tackle rough sleeping in the city.

Cllr Emma Morse, Lead Councillor for Customer Access, said the grant was a fantastic early Christmas present for Exeter. “We are committed to ensuring that everyone in Exeter has a roof over their head and that rough sleeping becomes a thing of the past.

“There is much work to be done but this money will help us work with those threatened with homelessness so that we can prevent it happening in the first place.”

The funding is split into two grants:
• Exeter City Council, East Devon District Council (EDDC), Teignbridge District Council (TDC) and Mid Devon District Council (MDDC) has been identified as one of the 28 new ‘trailblazer’ areas across the country and secured £359,000 collectively as part of a £50 million programme aimed at preventing people from becoming homeless.

• Exeter City Council working with EDDC, TDC and MDDC, as well as homelessness providers such as Julian House and St Petrocks, has won £295,000 to help tackle rough sleeping.

The grants will help the local authorities to understand why people are on the streets, their life experience and how best they can be assisted to move away from living on the streets. There will be a strong emphasis on prevention, finding solutions for families and individuals before they end up sleeping rough.

The initiative will focus on reducing unnecessary duplication between services and the introduction of early targeted support for those at risk and experiencing issues such as redundancy, illness or disability.

The new programme will work with a wide range of partners, across councils, the community sector, hospitals and the courts system to prevent households from homelessness through direct support and assistance. The overriding focus will be on the individual being encouraged to take ownership of their own housing need.

Today’s funding comes from the new £50 million programme to provide an innovative approach to tackling homelessness, with prevention at its heart, announced by Prime Minister Theresa May and Communities Secretary Sajid Javid in October.

Further reading: 
My Storify feed on the issue: 21/12/16 | Homelessness Trailblazer Fund

WMN | Councillors call for right-to-buy scheme to be scrapped

c8a2f-13736-pnwmng

11 August 2016

Councillors call for right-to-buy scheme to be scrapped

By Kate LangstonPosted: August 11, 2016

(top right) Cllr Owen

Over the last three years, Devon and Cornwall councils have funded an average of just one new home for every four sold – despite a policy of one-for-one replacements.

Councillors claim this is because the scheme is unsustainable, and warn the problem will get worse if ministers plough ahead with plans to extend it.

Exeter City Council member and portfolio holder for housing, Keith Owen, accused the Government of failing to grasp “the seriousness of the situation”.

Cllr Keith Owen

“As a local housing authority, we are not in a position to replace anywhere near the number of council properties which are acquired by tenants under the right-to-buy scheme,” he said.

“And the situation in Exeter is generally no different than it is through the rest of the country.

“Its getting harder and harder to [replace homes], and its not going to be helped by recent Government legislation.

“The whole idea is badly thought through… I think it has to be scrapped.”

According to new figures from the Local Government Association, the rate at which councils in England replaced homes sold under right-to-buy (RTB) fell by more than a quarter last year.

Their data shows that while 12,246 council homes were sold to tenants in 2015/16, just 2,055 replacements were started by councils.

Government figures show that in Devon and Cornwall a total of 361 properties were sold under RTB between 2012/13 and 2015/16.

In that same three year period, councils only began the process of replacing 87 homes.

In the district of East Devon, the ratio of replacements to sales since 2012/13 has been 4.5 to one.

A spokesman for the council said it had been struggling to fund replacements “for a number of years”.

Right to buy figures for Devon and Cornwall (source: DCLG live sales tables)

“The receipt we receive from Right to Buy sales, after the statutory and significant discount is applied, is insufficient to purchase or build replacement units on a one for one basis,” he said.

“We have purchased and built some new homes over the past few years, but our ability… has been compromised by a recent Government requirement to reduce rents by 1% each year for the next four years.”

“This reduces our ability to finance new council homes as it eliminates any surpluses we have set aside for new affordable homes.”

Cllr Owen shares concerns about rent reductions, as and about plans to fund the extension of RTB to housing associations through the sale of council assets.

He said the forced sell-off of high-value social housing will see local authorities deprived of both the asset itself and income from rent.

“It’s a vicious circle,” he said. “Any money we’ve had in the past to build replacement council houses is not going to be there.

“There’s no sign the government understands the seriousness of the situation.”

A Government spokesman said there is a rolling three-year deadline for local authorities to deliver an additional home “and so far they have delivered well within their sales profile”.

“However, we have always been clear that if local authorities don’t start building replacement homes within the three-year deadline, then we will step in and build them for them,” he added.


What is right-to-buy?

Right-to-buy was introduced in 1980 under Margaret Thatcher’s government, as a means of boosting home ownership

It gives most council tenants the right to purchase their home from their landlord at a discount of up to 35% for a house, and 50% for a flat

Tenants can apply to buy if the property is their only or main home and self-contained, and they have had a public sector landlord for three years

If the property used to belong to the council, but has since been sold off, a tenant might still qualify for “preserved” right to buy

The Government is looking to extend right-to-buy to housing association properties, starting with a voluntary pilot scheme, through the Housing and Planning Bill

Homelessness in Exeter – Context

Charities operating in Exeter who support homeless

 Exeter Community Initiatives http://www.eci.org.uk/ – Based at York Road ECI are an Exeter charity that have been going for over 20 years. Much of their core work is funded through donations to a share scheme or through grants from charitable trusts such as the Big Lottery Fund or local authorities such as Devon County Council. They also have contracts to run three  children’s centres in Exeter until 2017. ECI initially setup St Petrocks and Turntable Furniture project.

ECC Funding from April 2015 – £1,250 – to assist work around Soup Kitchens Meeting. This grant is coming to an end and will be part of the new Outreach Tender from October. Total: £1,250

St Petrocks http://stpetrocks.org.uk/Taken from Website – Originating as a community project providing humanitarian response to rough sleepers in the Exeter, the charity officially opened its doors in December 1994, having being given permission by the Central Parish of Exeter to adapt two thirds of St Petrock’s church for use as a homeless centre.

For over 20 years, St Petrock’s has been the first point of contact for people who are homeless, or vulnerably housed, in Exeter and surrounding areas. Our centre in Cathedral Yard is both the heart of our services and the gateway to specialist service providers.  It is unique in that it offers a comprehensive range of specialist services for people who are homeless, all under one roof.

Our work tackles not only the issues of homelessness but also the accompanying factors, such as crime, anti-social behaviour and wider social inclusion issues.

In 2014/15, a total of 1,666 people were supported through our services, from St Petrock’s centre, at HMP Exeter and in the community via the PORCH team.

The total cost of running these services runs at £500,000 pa on average and 94% of our income is spent on providing services which directly support our clients.  As a local charity, we are fortunate to have the support of the local community which provided some 32% of our income in 2014/15.

ECC Funding from April 2015 – £7,500 Prison Resettlement Worker (Homeless Prevention Grant); £6,000 Reconnection Fund (Local Welfare Support); £8,000 Health Fund (Exeter Board).

Total: £21,500

Community Housing Aidhttp://communityha.org.uk/ – Taken from website – CHA is a charity and we have been offering housing advice and support in Exeter and neighbouring areas since 1990.  We believe that everyone has the right to suitable, sustainable, secure and affordable housing.  We work with people who are in need of housing to enable them to find their own solutions, providing information and practical support.

We began life as a voluntary housing advice service, and have expanded the work that we do over the years to provide practical ways to help people to resolve their homelessness. On average, we work with around 1,000 people and households each year. Community Housing Aid is also a MINDFUL EMPLOYER® which is a Registered Trade Mark of Devon Partnership NHS Trust.

We currently support homeless and vulnerably housed people through the following three core projects:

Nightstop Devon – a same day emergency accommodation scheme for young people aged 16 – 25 in the homes of trained and approved volunteer hosts.

Resettlement Devon – helps ex-offenders and people with mental health problems to identify and access sustainable and suitable accommodation; and provides CASS, the Community Advice & Support Service, at Exeter Magistrates Court on Tuesdays each week.

Smartmove Devon – a private rented sector access scheme bringing homeless people and property owners together to create sustainable tenancies.

Bay 6 – a NEW pilot project that aims to ensure that no-one leaving hospital has to sleep rough across Devon and Torbay.

Single Homelessness Funding (ECC, EDDC, TDC, MDDC, Torbay) from April 2015 – £80,000 – Joint Contract with St Petrocks to deliver Offender Housing Resettlement Pilot Funded until May 2016. Total: £80,000

Citizens Advice Bureauwww.exetercab.org.ukAbout Exeter CAB

At Exeter Citizens Advice Bureau we can help you sort out your money, legal and other problems.

We can give you free, confidential, impartial and independent information and advice on a wide range of subjects including

  • benefits
  • employment
  • housing
  • debt
  • consumer rights
  • legal issues

And it’s not just advice. We campaign for change using your experiences to influence local and national policymakers and service providers to improve policies and services which aren’t working.

ECC & EDDC Funding from April 2015 – £9,000 (Homeless Prevention Grant) Court Desk; (Local Welfare Support) Total: £9,000

Homemakerhttp://www.homemakersw.org.uk/index.html – Homemaker Southwest is an independent charity, established in July 2001 and based in Devon. It emerged from an organisation known as the ‘Exeter Homemaker Project’, originally set up in 1991 to provide tenancy support services for offenders. As the organization has grown, the range of services we provide have been adapted to better meet the needs of the local population as a whole, enabling us to offer our services to all sections of the community.
Statement of Purpose
To enable people, especially those who are vulnerable, to set up, maintain, and sustain their homes, and thus prevent homelessness.
Aims of Homemaker
The primary purpose of Homemaker is to prevent homelessness and promote independence. We offer specialist advice and support to individuals and families who may be at risk of losing their

ECC Funding from April 2015 – £0 from homelessness. Part of EMAP which is funded through Local Welfare Support and is under review.

From October

Rough Sleepers Outreach – new provider – Information from website

ECC, EDDC and TDC funding from October 2015 – £37,474.09 per quarter – Total £150,000 per ye

Accommodation in Exeter and how it is funded

The national steer on homelessness is a reflection of the fact that no single organisation or community in Devon has all of the skills or resources needed to prevent it. Homelessness prevention therefore presents a challenge to all of Devon’s statutory organisations and communities, in terms of how they work together to achieve effective outcomes. Diagram 1 (below) is an illustration of Devon County Council (DCC) as just one partner contributing some quite specific skills and resources, into a much wider multi-agency network of skills and resources.

Screen shot 2015-12-26 at 08.40.00
Diagram 1: DCC as one contributor within a multi-agency partnership

The following update clarifies changes to accommodation providers since Devon County Council re-commissioned Homeless Prevention support services across Devon in April 2014. This only looks at changes which affect the Eastern HUB (Exeter, East Devon and Mid Devon) and those services which receive funding for support hours from Devon County Councils under its Contribution into Homelessness Prevention and Support for 16 and 17 Year Olds and 18+ Homeless Prevention services.

Background

In 2013 and due to procurement regulations, Devon County Council started the process of procuring the contracts for Homeless Prevention Support hours The changes to 18+ Homeless Prevention services took place earlier this year with contracts starting in April 2014 and the 16/17 Year Old Homeless Prevention Services followed shortly afterwards with contracts starting in June 2014.

The Homeless Prevention Services were broken down into 4 categories:

  • 18+ Homeless Prevention Support Hours
  • 16-17year olds Homeless Prevention support hours.
  • Domestic Abuse Homeless Prevention support hours
  • Ex-Offender Homeless Prevention Support
  • Accommodation costs will be funded by District Councils/housing benefit
  • The tender for support hours required providers to evidence their access to accommodation that Devon County Council doesn’t pay for.

Exeter, East Devon and Mid Devon Accommodation providers before 1st April 2014

Homeless Prevention Services Provider Number of units Service users
Gabriel House Shilhay Support 40 Male & Female 18-65 Complex needs
Esther Keychange 15 & 4 16+ single female complex needs
Friars Lodge Magna 7 Young mum/family support
Grapevine Chapter 1 10 Young mum/family support
Alexandra House Westcountry Housing Association 23 Single Homeless
Oakfields Stonham 13 Ex-offenders
YMCA YMCA 31 16-29 Single Homeless
Supported Temporary Accommodation (STA’s) Exeter City Council 19 Single Homeless and family support
Women’s Refuge SAFE Women fleeing domestic violence
Floating Support Sanctuary Supported Living Floating Support
Family Support in Housing Chapter 1 Floating Support
 
Young Person at Risk (YPAR) Provider Number of units Service users
Bethany House Westcountry Housing Association 13 YP Single Homeless Female only
Long Ragg (Axminster) Devon and Cornwall Housing Association (Independent Futures) 6 YP Single homeless
Foyer Raglan 36 YP Single Homeless
Hennis Project Magna Housing Association 18 YP Single Homeless
Supported Lodgings Young Devon 10 Exeter

(60 countywide)

YP Single Homeless
  

Exeter, East Devon and Mid Devon 18+ Homeless Prevention Services Eastern HUB after 1st April 2014

Support Provider Total hours of support provided per week to deliver Accommodation available for support Total Number of Units Service users
Sanctuary * 794 Queens Road

Trailways

Killarney

Red House

Crescent

Haven

Sandford Walk

 

 

STAR

 

Pinhoe Road

 

Floating Support

7

10

6

16

18

6

4

 

 

15

 

4

 

200 Hours

1st stage temp (ECC)

1st stage temp (ECC)

1st stage temp (ECC)

1st stage temp (ECC)

1st stage temp (ECC)

NSNO

Move on from Haven where permanent option is private rented

First Stage and Move-on

Single Female Shared House,

Referral route into Emergency Accommodation through Housing Options; Referral to STAR through SHOT; Floating Support direct referral to Sanctuary

 

BCHA 399 Gabriel House

Glendower Court

Oxford Road

Fernley

Thursby Walk

39

4

5

13

8

18-25 & complex needs

Gabriel House move on

Referral route through Young Persons Accommodation Forum

 

Exeter YMCA 217 YMCA St Davids Hill

 

 

New Court

Morley Road

Phillip Road

27

(31 in total, 4 left for YMCA use)

8

5

4

18-24 Year Olds – Referral route through Young Persons Accommodation Forum
Westward 150 Alexandra House 23 (10 ring fenced for 18 – 24 year olds)

Referral route through Young Persons Accommodation Forum and Eastern HUB referral to Alexandra House

* Queens Road & Trailways in house support but under sanctuary contract.

Main Changes

The key feature of change was Devon County Councils decision to commission support hours rather than buildings.   Following the tender, Providers can now use the support hours in any accommodation they have available to them.

        • The Eastern HUB housing accommodation options have been split between 18-24 year olds and 25+ & complex needs.
        • A Young Persons Accommodation Forum has been set up to look at accommodation options for 18- 24 year olds (open case or non priority cases). The following accommodation options are considered:
          – Nightstop
          – Amber
          -Alexandra House
          – YMCA- Sanctuary Supported Living – Floating Support
        • Referral process will be through Eastern HUB form sent to Jenny Lynch or Holly Leadbetter at YES Centre. Chris Stocks will chair the meetings.
        • Those of HIRA score under 10 private rented accommodation to be considered with floating support from Sanctuary Supported Living if needed
        • Clients scoring under 20 can be considered for Move-on Options (see Pathway) so long as provider agrees to referral.
        • For anyone scoring 25+ on the HIRA or scoring 4 or 5 in 3 or more categories a referral will be completed to go to the new Complex Needs Forum that will shortly be set up. The Complex Needs Forum will be:

– Monthly meetings
– HIRA score 25+, scores 4/5 in 3+ categories
– Consist of: Police, Mental Health, Probation, RISE, Safeguarding, Housing, Adult Care, Public Health
– Will also oversee MEAM (Making Every Adult Matter) cases

Homeless Prevention 16-17 Year olds Eastern HUB

      • The Peninsula Framework was used as Pre-qualifier to assure quality of services for children and in order for Providers to also accept Individual Placement Agreements via CYP Brokerage
      • The Homeless Prevention 16/17 support hours aim to support young people aged 16/17 to return home (if safe) or become independent by age 18.
      • Care leavers aged 18+ (whose status has been agreed with a social worker) can access the support provided by the Homelessness Prevention 16/17 contract if it is considered appropriate.  
Support Provider Total hours of support provided per week to deliver Accommodation available for support Total Number of Units Service users
Westward 60 Bethany House 13 16 / 17 Year Olds and Care leavers up to 25 if in Full Time Education
Young Devon 40 Supported Lodgings Placements 10 16 / 17 Year Olds and Care leavers up to 25 if in Full Time Education
Keychange 127.8 Esther 19 16 / 17 Year Olds and Care leavers up to 25 if in Full Time Education
Chapter 1 62 Grapevine? Pregnant careleavers, 16/17 pregnant year olds

 

      • Homeless Prevention Panel meets fortnightly to look at prioritising referrals for 16 / 17 year olds and Care Leavers. The following accommodation options are available:-
        • Esther
        • Bethany House
        • Grapevine
        • Supported lodgings
        • Night Stop
        • Exeter Foyer
      • All hours that have been contracted are for Floating Support so any unallocated hours can be used to support 16/17 olds in private tenancies or in emergency accommodation. If YP is nearly 18 then Eastern HUB form to be completed for consideration for resources through Young Persons Accommodation Forum.

Services no longer commissioned or remaining under review as a result of commissioning exercise

Due to the commissioning process some projects would not continue to provide support under the DCC Homeless Prevention Contract. This could have been due to Organisations taking the decision to change their business model and move to supporting eg. adults instead of young people or young people instead of adults; Organisation decision to withdraw from the market; Organisations not reaching the required standard; Organisations being good enough but not scoring high enough to be allocated hours as these were awarded to other providers who scored higher.

Transition plans were put in place with existing providers to ensure people were safe and appropriately supported through any contractual changes. Changes include:

Those Organisation that did not secure a contract were:-

      • Magna Housing Association – impact is Hennis Project will close end of August 2014. and Magna are currently exploring alternative options for Friars Lodge

Buildings that may face changes in use as a result of contract changes:

      • Chapter 1, Grapevine used to support 18 year olds single parents and has now secured hours under the 16-17 yr old Homeless Prevention Contract
      • Keychange – Esther Project – used to provide service to Single Homeless Vulnerable Women and has now secured support hours under the 16-17 yr old Homeless Prevention Contract
      • Exeter Foyer – Raglan – used to have exclusive Young Persons contract and now has zero hours 18+ contract and is working to get onto Peninsula Framework to accept children incare. In the meantime a transition plan can support YP to access the service.
      • Longragg – Independent Futures – EDDC decided this was a bulding they no longer wished to retain.

Services that fell outside of DCC HP tender and were commissioned through another route:

    • Oakfields Hostel is now commissioned through National Probation Services and access is managed through this route.
    • Domestic Abuse Support services contract awarded to Splitz with no accommodation provision

#Exeter Board | Domestic food waste collection in Exeter

At a meeting of the Exeter Board – a Joint Committee of Devon County and Exeter City Councils – held on 27 September 2012, the minutes  note that Audaye Elesedy [of Exeter Green Party ]attended and spoke to the Board under the Open Forum arrangements and asked questions about household food waste collection, recycling and recovery in Exeter, and the reasons why it did not take place at present and possibilities for the future. He also referred to grant funding available from the Department for Communities and Local Government. Members noted the excellent recycling rates generally in Devon and the particular problems for food waste collection in an urban environment and the desirability for more education to encourage minimisation of food waste as part of Devon s County Council s waste campaigning.

It was MOVED by Councillor Leadbetter, SECONDED by Councillor Sutton and

RESOLVED that that the City Council and County Council prepare a note answering Mr Elesedy points which would also be circulated to the Board members.

I’ve now seen a copy of the relevant note, dated 31 October 2012

You may recall that during the Open Forum at the 27 September meeting, the joint Exeter Board was asked a question by Audaye Elesedy about household food waste collection, recycling and recovery in Exeter, the reasons why it did not take place at present, and possibilities for the future.

Members agreed that ECC and DCC prepare a short note which answered the questions.

Accordingly below is the statement in response to the questions raised:

In the Review of the Waste Management Strategy for Devon, the local authorities have acknowledged that the most effective way to recycle domestic food waste is to collect it as a separate material on a weekly basis and send it for anaerobic digestion. it will be an important factor in reaching Municipal Waste Management Strategy recycling targets of 60% by 2014/15, and 65% by 2015/26.

However, at this point in time only East and West Devon District Councils collect food waste separately weekly. Other councils collect it fortnightly mixed with garden and/or cardboard for processing at Devon’s In-Vessel Composting plants.

Anaerobic digestion of food waste is a cost-effective means of dealing with organic waste in terms of processing, but unfortunately changing a collection service to meet this aim can be expensive.

Exeter City Council has estimated the cost of setting up such a scheme in Exeter at £1.1m in capital investment, and a further £600,000 per year in revenue costs [even after reduced waste disposal costs have been taken into account].

When the government’s Department for Communities & Local Government announced its challenge for weekly waste collection earlier this year, Exeter City Council and several other Devon local authorities submitted an expression of interest in the fund. However, the funding would only last for 3 years, after which the additional costs would have to be met by local authorities. Therefore, Exeter City Council decided to withdraw from the bid.

Some councils have added food waste to their existing fortnightly collection schemes. Although this is cheaper than a weekly food waste collection, experience has shown that it is less effective at diverting food waste way from landfill refuse collections. Therefore, Exeter has chosen to concentrate instead on maximising participation in the current kerbside recycling and garden waste collection services. In particular, Exeter recycles a more comprehensive range of plastics than most other councils.