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Information for professionals - homelessness prevention

Information for professionals - homelessness prevention

The following information is for professionals, volunteers and Councillors who want to support Newcastle residents to secure the foundations for a stable life – somewhere to live, an income, financial inclusion and employment opportunities

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  2022-23 (pdf, 99kb) or our Active Inclusion Programme (pdf 1513kb) 

Active Inclusion Newcastle Partnership arrangements (pdf 86kb) 

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 Financial inclusion information for professionals and volunteers page.

Ways to get involved

If you are interested in any of the  groups in the Active Inclusion Newcastle partnership arrangements, email the Active Inclusion Newcastle Unit on .You  can find more information about our quarterly Homelessness Prevention Forum meetings here

Newcastle’s Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy 2020-2025

Newcastle’s Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy 2020-2025 was endorsed by Newcastle City Council’s Cabinet on 19 October 2020 and can be viewed below 

Accompanying the strategy is Newcastle's Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Review 

Newcastle's Homelessness Prevention Trailblazer 

The Government acknowledged the strength of our Active Inclusion Newcastle partnership 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.

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 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

Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 duty to refer 

On 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 replaces, our existing Active Inclusion Newcastle partnerships and protocols, like the Sustaining Tenancies Guidance, which is the foundation for the reduction in evictions from tenancies managed by Your Homes Newcastle, 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 here more about our approach to duty to refer  (pdf, 370Kb).
To make a referral to Newcastle City Council:
•    complete our referral form and email it to 

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

Documents which support our way of working 

 Our protocols

The Sustaining Tenancies Guidance  (pdf 540 kb) was reviewed in 2022 with a revised version of this document now due to be published and will be made available on this page.  In the interim if you have any questions about this guidance, please email  

 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.

Housing and homelessness spectrum of advice (pdf 88kb)

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

To complement our spectrum of advice we have held 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. 

To reduce non-essential social contact, all face-to-face partnership meetings and training sessions are currently suspended but our online training modules are still available, please see below for details of these 

Active Inclusion Newcastle: Support for people struggling with the cost of living crisis

This iLearn LiVE event is for front line staff in Adult Social Care and Children's Social Care who come into contact with people who are struggling financially due to the current cost of living crisis. You will learn why it is important to know about the services provided by Active Inclusion Newcastle, how we can help the residents you work with, how you can refer into our services and what other support may be available.

The sessions will be delivered via Teams and will last no more than 1 hour and include an opportunity for questions.

These training sessions are aimed at staff who are not specialist advisers but may support people who are experiencing difficulties with debt, benefits and housing (described as tier 1 and 2 in our Spectrums of Advice documents)

How to access our training:

Newcastle City Council staff
Access the training by logging into the Learning Management System (LMS). This is done by clicking the ‘LMS’ button, found in the top right of the intranet screen. 

Non Newcastle City Council staff

Click this link to sign up. 

It’s better to right click and choose ‘Open in new window’ so you continue to view these instructions

  •     If you already have an account, click the 'All other users' square
  •     If it's your first time here, you will need to create a new account by clicking on the 'Support & Login Options' below which reveals simple instructions, then click: 'create an account'

If you have any problems, email

Once you have access to LMS, to find our training click 'job related' then 'Active Inclusion'

For information on training available on welfare benefits and budgeting and debt advice, visit our financial inclusion information for professionals and volunteers page.

‘Trigger point conversation’ (information sheet)

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

For further information on the free multi-agency safeguarding training we offer visit Training - Newcastle Safeguarding

Our evidence base 

The files below may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. If you use assistive technology and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.



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 

For those struggling with money and bills, go to: Support in Newcastle for those affected by the cost of living crisis 

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