Information for professionals - homelessness prevention

To receive updates on homelessness prevention and financial inclusion related services, provision and changes linked to the Coronavirus / COVID-19 pandemic, please subscribe to the Active Inclusion Newcastle information update by emailing activeinclusion@newcastle.gov.uk 

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 briefing note (pdf) 

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 activeinclusion@newcastle.gov.uk .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 and Rough Sleeping Review 2019  (pdf, 900kb)

Partnership to end homeless

On 20 June 2019, Newcastle City Council entered into a partnership with Crisis (the national charity for homeless people), based on a shared commitment to work together to end homelessness in the city. Newcastle already has a relatively good record of preventing and relieving homelessness. Crisis have delivered services in Newcastle since 2007. Through this partnership, Crisis will expand its investment in Newcastle, bringing additional resource to the city, which will help to build on Newcastle’s good work, make responding to homelessness everyone’s business, and further strengthen Newcastle’s system. This will help to enable the city to make the brave and ambitious transition to ending homelessness altogether.

In Newcastle, we define ending homelessness as:

  • No one sleeping rough
  • No one forced to live in transient or dangerous accommodation, such as tents, squats and non-residential buildings
  • No one living in emergency accommodation, such as shelters and hostels, without a plan for rapid rehousing into affordable, suitable and sustainable homes
  • No one homeless due to leaving a state institution, such as prison or the care system
  • Everyone who is immediately threatened with homelessness gets the help that prevents it from happening
  • Everyone known to be at greater risk of homelessness due to affordability or vulnerabilities is proactively targeted with advice and support to reduce the possibility that they become threatened with homelessness at an earlier opportunity than 56 days

For more information, email claire.horton@newcastle.gov.uk or chris.parker@crisis.org.uk

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 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 

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 Homelessness Strategy 2014-19

 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) 
•   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.

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 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.

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 activeinclusion@newcastle.gov.uk

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. 

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 activeinclusion@newcastle.gov.uk  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 activeinclusion@newcastle.gov.uk 

 

 

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