Active Inclusion Newcastle

Active Inclusion Newcastle is a partnership approach developed as part of the Newcastle City Council 2013-16 budget setting process. It responds to the growth in demand for information, advice and support for financial inclusion and housing advice which need to be met at the same time as resources and capacity are reducing across the council and partners. Active Inclusion Newcastle improves the coordination and consistency of information, advice and support to facilitate more partners to help residents' financial inclusion and to prevent homelessness in the context of high levels of unemployment and the cuts being delivered by the government's welfare reforms. Improved coordination helps us to reduce people's fear and uncertainty and to maximise our resources to maintain the foundations for a stable life: somewhere to live, an income, financial inclusion and employment opportunities. For more information, see our Active Inclusion Newcastle briefing note (pdf, 174kb).

The government have acknowledged the strength of our Active Inclusion Newcastle approach by making Newcastle one of three national early adopter Homelessness Prevention Trailblazers. For more information, see our Homelessness Prevention Trailblazer briefing note (pdf, 33kb).

This page includes information resources to support our collective work to prevent homelessness. For information resources which support our work to help residents' financial inclusion, visit our Welfare rights and money advice information for professionals and volunteers page.

Our partnership arrangements 

Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 

The Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 is the most significant homelessness legislation for 40 years. Most of the Act is enacted on 3 April 2018. It places new legal duties on English councils so that everyone who is homeless or at risk of homelessness will have access to help, irrespective of their priority need status, as long as they are eligible for assistance. The Act is accompanied by a new code of guidance and a new monitoring system for councils. 

The Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 creates the following main changes:

  • councils must assess and agree a personalised plan (called an Inclusion Plan in Newcastle) for all eligible people who are at risk of homelessness within 56 days that covers the:
    • circumstances that caused the risk of homelessness
    • the housing needs of the person, and
    • what support would be necessary for them to be able to have and retain suitable accommodation
  • councils must provide tailored information and advice for groups they consider more likely to be at risk of homelessness (our information sheets are available here)
  • councils must take reasonable steps to relieve homelessness
  • people applying for assistance will be expected to cooperate with the council
  • councils must establish a system for the acceptance of referrals from public agencies to work with those at risk of homelessness (see Duty to refer below) 

In Newcastle we are responding to the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 by building on our Active Inclusion Newcastle partnership approach to making the prevention of homelessness everyone’s business and a culture of supporting all residents to have a stable life: somewhere to live, an income, financial inclusion and employment opportunities. You can read more about the approach being taken in Newcastle to respond to the Act here

Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 (external link)

Homelessness code of guidance for local authorities (external link)

Duty to refer 

As of 1 October 2018, the Homelessness Reduction Act introduces a new requirement on specified public authorities in England to notify councils of service users they think may be homeless or threatened with becoming homeless 

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government guide to duty to refer (external link) 

In Newcastle the duty to refer will supplement, not replace, our existing AIN partnerships and protocols, like the Sustaining Tenancies Guidance which was the foundation for the reduction in YHN evictions and our Hospital Discharge Protocol, which has helped to ensure that no one becomes homeless as a result of leaving hospital, will remain in place. Similarly, partners should continue to use the Newcastle Gateway, as they have since 2010, to directly refer to accommodation and support services. You can read more about our approach here (pdf 370Kb) 

To make a referal to us you can

We aim to respond to referrals within one to three working days and we will contact the client directly using the information you have sent us. This email address should not be used if the client has nowhere to stay tonight or is likely to become homeless within the next 48 hrs. If that is the case you should contact the Housing Advice Centre directly 

Our Homelessness Strategy

 Our protocols

Our spectrum of advice

To complement our spectrum of advice we hold quarterly 'Introduction to Housing and Homelessness in Newcastle' training sessions for those working in tier 1 and 2. These sessions offer a basic overview of homelessness legislation, an explanation of the different kinds of housing tenure and the rules that govern them, how to apply for social housing, and how to query and challenge housing and homelessness decisions. We also cover practical information about the role of the Housing Advice Centre and the policies and procedures that we and partners in Newcastle follow to prevent homelessness.

The remaining sessions for 2018 are:

  • 26 July 2018 (9.30am to 12pm) - NOW FULL 
  • 25 October 2018 (9.30am to 12pm) - NOW FULL 

Sessions for 2019 are: 

  • 24 January 2019 
  • 23 April 2019 
  • 24 July 2019
  • 24 October 2019

How to access our training:

All training is now booked via the Active Inclusion Newcastle dashboard on the Council’s (LMS). Council staff already have an LMS account; non-Council staff can self-sign up to the LMS to access our e-learning modules and book onto our face to face training. Here’s how:

  • Click this link to access the LMS login page
  • If you already have an account, click “All other users” and sign in
  • If this is your first time here, create an account by clicking on “Support and Login Options” which reveals simple instructions.

Any questions can be emailed to activeinclusion@newcastle.gov.uk and we can direct you.

For information on training available on welfare benefits and budgeting and debt advice please visit the Welfare rights and money advice page.

Trigger point conversation - information sheet 

We have developed an information sheet for professionals and volunteers to support you to have a conversation with residents about housing issues 

Information sheets on benefits, debt and money management, financial inclusion and employment support are also available on our Welfare rights and money advice information for professionals and volunteers page. 

 Our evidence base

If you have any questions about any of these documents or would like more information, please email the Active Inclusion Newcastle Unit at activeinclusion@newcastle.gov.uk.

Return to Housing Advice and Homelessness page

Page last updated: 
1 October 2018
 
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