Information for professionals - homelessness prevention

Newcastle's Homelessness Prevention Trailblazer 

The government acknowledged the strength of our Active Inclusion Newcastle approach by making Newcastle one of three national ‘early adopter’ Homelessness Prevention Trailblazers from 1 January 2017 to 31 March 2019.  For more information, visit Newcastle’s Homelessness Prevention Trailblazer  where there is an overview of our approach and a range of reports and resources to share our learning

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 financial inclusion and homelessness prevention information, advice and support when resources and certainty are reducing; the transition residents and organisations need to make to a reduced welfare state; the scale of poverty and disadvantage many Newcastle residents face; and the need to change our culture, to promote preventative and partnership response. Active Inclusion Newcastle is guided by our local politicians’ values of fairness, inclusion and social justice and contributes to Newcastle City Council’s priorities of employment, education and skills, and housing. We do this by providing a framework to improve the coordination and consistency of information, advice and support, helping partners to increase residents' financial inclusion and to prevent homelessness. For more information, see our Active Inclusion Newcastle briefing note (pdf, 174kb).

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

Our partnership arrangements 
•    Active Inclusion Newcastle partnership arrangements (pdf, 563kb)

Ways to get involved

If you are interested in any of the  groups in the Active Inclusion Newcastle partnership arrangements, contact the Active Inclusion Newcastle Unit (activeinclusion@newcastle.gov.uk) and you can find more information about our quarterly Homelessness Prevention Forum meetings here  

Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 

The Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 is the most significant homelessness legislation for 40 years. Most of the Act was enacted on 3 April 2018. It placed new legal duties on English councils so that everyone who is homeless or at risk of homelessness has 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 created 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 are 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 responded 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. 

Homelessness Reduction Act 2017
Homelessness code of guidance for local authorities

Duty to refer 

As of 1 October 2018, the Homelessness Reduction Act introduced 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

In Newcastle the duty to refer supplements, rather than replacing, our existing Active Inclusion Newcastle partnerships and protocols, like the Sustaining Tenancies Guidance, which was the foundation for the reduction in Your Homes Newcastle evictions, and our Hospital Discharge Protocol, which has helped to ensure that no one becomes homeless as a result of leaving hospital. 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 to duty to refer here (pdf 370Kb)
 
To make a referral to Newcastle City Council:
•    complete our referral form and email it to dutytorefer@newcastle.gov.uk, or
•    phone us on 0191 277 1050 (Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 12 noon and 1pm to 4.30pm) 

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

Our Homelessness Strategy 

 Our protocols

•    Sustaining Tenancies Guidance  (pdf 540 kb)
•    Moving on from supported housing in Newcastle: A Move On Protocol for Supported Housing Providers (pdf 342kb) 
•    Preventing evictions from supported housing in Newcastle : An Eviction Protocol for Supported Housing Providers (pdf, 542Kb)
•   Hospital Discharge and Homelessness Prevention Protocol (pdf 395kb)  and  Information sheet on housing and hospital discharge (pdf, 224kb) 
•    Newcastle Supported Accommodation Drug Management Protocol (pdf, 445kb)
•    Prohibition Orders Protocol (pdf,333kb)
•    Clean Homes Protocol (pdf 199kb) 

Our spectrum of advice

We seek to make the best use of the limited face to face specialist advice services in Newcastle by helping other non-specialist services to prevent and respond to financial exclusion and the risk of homelessness. This means moving from signposting to proportionate responses in which all partners can play a role.

To help us in with this we have developed the following spectrum of advice. This describes three broad tiers (general information, general advice and specialist advice) and acts as a guide to help us to better understand where organisations fit into our provision in Newcastle and what support they need to do this. The support to services and organisations includes the resources described on this page.

•    Spectrum of advice: Housing and homelessness (pdf, 101kb)

To see our spectrums of advice for financial inclusion, visit our money advice information for professionals page.

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.

2019  training sessions are on:

  • Thursday 24 October 2019

2020  training sessions are on:

  • Thursday 23 January 2020
  • Thursday 23  April 2020
  • Thursday 23 July 2020

How to access our training:

All training is booked via the Active Inclusion Newcastle dashboard on Newcastle City Council’s Learning Management System (LMS). Council staff already have an LMS account; non-Council staff can gain access to LMS by emailing activeinclusion@newcastle.gov.uk 

Any questions can be emailed to activeinclusion@newcastle.gov.uk 

For information on training available on welfare benefits and budgeting and debt advice, visit the Welfare rights and money advice information for professionals and volunteers page.

‘Trigger point conversation’ (information sheet)

We have an information sheet to support you to have a conversation with residents about housing issues: 

•    Housing and homelessness prevention (pdf, 252kb) 

Information sheets on benefits, debt and money management, financial inclusion and employment support are 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, email the Active Inclusion Newcastle Unit at activeinclusion@newcastle.gov.uk.

 

Did you know?

Active Inclusion Newcastle sends out a weekly email which includes information and news items on issues related to homelessness prevention and financial inclusion, including future dates of partnership meetings and other items of interest. 

If you want to subscribe please email activeinclusion@newcastle.gov.uk 

We hold  Homelessness Prevention Forum meetings on a quarterly basis, the remaining date for 2019 is : 

  • Wednesday 11 December  

For more information please contact activeinclusion@newcastle.gov.uk or telephone 0191 277 1707 

 

Need more information?

If you have any questions about any of these documents, or would like more information about anything listed you can contact us at activeinclusion@newcastle.gov.uk or you can call 0191 277 1707 

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