Temporary Restriction of New Social Tenancies – Private Landlords, Can You Help?

As a result of significant resource restrictions and the suspension of some repairs services, cleaning and furnishing services, we and our Housing Association partners have had to restrict letting of new social rented tenancies, including temporary homeless accommodation, during the coronavirus shutdown.

Due to these unprecedented and difficult circumstances, we have temporarily suspended all housing allocations with the exception of the following groups:

  • Discharge from hospital where rehousing is required.  This is a top priority to  support the NHS. 
  • People who are roofless or at risk of rough sleeping
  • People where there is a serious risk identified whether that be a risk of violence/abuse, including all forms of domestic abuse, or other protection measures are required

We continue to focus our efforts on trying to prevent people from becoming homeless and needing accommodation and are advising people who have been sofa-surfing or staying with friends and family that they follow the government guidance and remain living where they have been, where it is safe to do so. We are also working across our housing teams and partner housing providers to identify and furnish suitable accommodation.

We are looking for help from private landlords to provide private rented tenancies to individuals in the priority groups we have identified, and to work in partnership with us to identify suitable tenants from the priority groups for any properties that are available to let.

Where furnishings are required, and this is needed urgently and cannot be met any other way, we may be able to provide furniture and goods. Our housing staff will also be able to support the household to apply for financial help (if needed) to meet the rent and housing costs.

If you have a property or properties that are available to let and are able to support us to provide housing to these priority groups, please contact the following: 

In Arbroath, Carnoustie or Monifieth – please email HouArbroathCHT@angus.gov.uk

In Brechin or Montrose – please email BrechinMontroseCHT@angus.gov.uk

In Forfar or Kirriemuir – please email ForfarCHT@angus.gov.uk

 

Your support and assistance is appreciated.

 

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Rapid Rehousing Transition Plan in Angus approved

RRTP

A 5-year Rapid Rehousing Transition Plan was approved by Councillors in last week. As we mentioned in the previous post, Local Authorities, have been asked by the Scottish Government to work with local partners to bring forward a 5-year plan by December 2018.

This is a new policy to address homelessness more pro-actively; through prevention, by moving people through temporary accommodation quicker, and by improving the support they receive through better co-ordination.

Prevention will be the first priority, and that means directing resources to things such as mental health support, combating substance abuse, and helping prevent relationship breakdown. For those who do become homeless we will prioritise the allocation of our accommodation to them so that we can deliver the support they need to re-establish themselves quickly in the community. For that to happen we also need the help and understanding of the community.

We and our partners will also need to increase allocations to homeless households to 58% of all lets initially. So for us, out of the 800 changes of tenancy in the first year, we estimate that around 464 of those will be allocated to homeless households.

The main aim of the Rapid Rehousing Transition Plan will be provide long-term housing provision for Angus citizens, at a time when they are most vulnerable.

This plan sets out how we in Angus can achieve that aim over the next 5 years. Successful implementation of the plan will result in:

  • Increased focus on prevention, to reduce homeless applications
  • Reduced the time it takes to process homeless cases
  • Reduced time spent in temporary accommodation
  • Reducing the number of temporary accommodation units and instead helping support people into permanent housing quicker
  • Increasing tenancy sustainment 

Homeless or Rough Sleeping in Winter? We Can Help!

winterphoto

As temperatures drop, staying indoors becomes more desirable in winter. Rough sleeping and begging is rare in Angus towns but it does happen and we share concern for those members of our community who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

Our Communities Convener, Cllr Craig Fotheringham said: “When we are aware of instances of rough sleeping or begging, our Housing Officers always approach the person and offer housing options advice and information, either in an outreach situation on the street, or in one of our ACCESS Offices or Libraries.”

He continued, “We will also direct them to other services we or our partners provide that may help them. Jointly we offer a swift, person-centred, housing-led response, to address what are often quite complex needs.”

We always provide advice and assistance. If you are concerned about someone who is begging or doesn’t have a place to stay, please advise them to go to any ACCESS Office or Library, or call ACCESSLine on 03452 777 778 to get advice on their circumstances.

Angus Dates for Research on Homelessness in Scotland – £15 High Street shopping voucher for participants

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The Scottish Housing Regulator wants to meet with people who have used our homelessness services and has asked Craigforth (independent researchers) to speak to service users

The researchers will visit Angus on Tuesday 27 March for engagement sessions in Arbroath, Forfar and Montrose . Feedback from these sessions will help the Regulator focus on what’s important. 

Please see attached flyers for details of drop-in sessions in Angus:

Everyone taking part will receive a £15 high street voucher as a thank you. 

“Aye we Can” – Survey on Homelessness – Win £50 Vouchers!

Aye we can

 

As was mentioned in our previous post, the Scottish Government Action Group’s Aye we Can programme wants to work with people who have experience of homelessness. The group’s job is to recommend to Scottish Ministers what needs to be done to end homelessness and to consider how much it will cost over the next 5 years.

At 5 events across Scotland during December, 122 people shared their advice and ideas on how to fix homelessness in Scotland.

Read the group’s first report and take the Aye we can survey. It should take no more than 10-15 minutes and there’s the chance for you to win £50 of shopping vouchers.

Please support the Glenmoy Terrace Starter Packs appeal

Our Partners at Hillcrest Housing Association have told us their application to the Tesco Bags of Help Grant Scheme has been successful and the Glenmoy Terrace Homeless Starter Packs project will be put forward to a customer vote in Tesco stores during November and December 2017.

The project along with two other successful projects in the region will go forward to a vote in Tesco stores where their customers will decide the outcome by voting for their favourite project each time they shop.

Voting will take place

from

Wednesday 1st November 2017 to Monday 1st January 2018

We will find out by the end of January 2018 the amount of funding the project will receive. The project with the highest number of votes across our region will receive up to £4,000, the second placed project up to £2,000 and the third placed project £1,000.

Starter packs help adults and families transition from homelessness to a home. Packs include small kitchen utensils and basic provisions to support them in their own tenancy.

Glenmoy Terrace provides short-term accommodation for adults and families in Forfar who are homeless. It has 7 self-contained properties including a family unit for up to 6 family members. People stay with the project from 3 months to 9 months. Their most recent care inspectorate report received a 5(very good) rating for the services they provide.

However they want to provide more, by supporting temporary tenants to source longer term permanent tenancies. When a property becomes available they may only have a few days to support a tenant moving into their own home with no funding to support this. They want to provide starter packs so that people can move into their new home and it feels like a home.

To encourage activity, healthy eating, provide a therapeutic benefit and also provide a feeling of transition and hope that they will take it with them to their new home, the project wants to provide a kitchen/herb garden to be included in the starter pack. The garden would consist of small planters or pots depending on space available and would include herbs, tomatoes, chillis and radishes. This would encourage discussion among tenants, shared positive experiences and also encourage future community engagement.

The cost of a starter pack is roughly £100 for an individual however this does increase for a family, and the project would be looking to support approximately 40 families and individuals with packs.

 

Your vote is important so please support the project when you are shopping in Tesco in November and December.

Tesco Bags of Help

https://www.tesco.com/carrier-bags/