Partnership working to reduce the number of customers becoming homeless
We’ve kickstarted work with key local stakeholders aimed at reducing the number of our own customers who become homeless.
Last week we met with representatives from two of our big four councils, Tewkesbury Borough and Cotswold District as well as Gloucestershire support service provider P3. We have started initial discussion on how to improve the way we work collaboratively with them when we refer our customers who could be in danger of becoming homeless. This initiative will be called Commitment to Refer & Support.
Homelessness lead Hazel O’Halloran said: “Reducing homelessness is one of our goals in the Bromford Strategy. But as well as ensuring we are providing new homes for people who are without a home, we have to acknowledge that every year we make people homeless ourselves.
“Last week’s meeting was a chance for us to meet with partners from two of our biggest local authority partners to discuss ways we can work together better to support our own customers when they are at risk of losing their home. Every case is different and what works for one customer may not be appropriate for another one, but it’s about our colleagues working together with the local authority and to offer the support the customer needs to stay in their home.”
Following the meeting we will be producing a toolkit which will be launched next year for use in these two local authority areas. We will look at rolling out this approach to all localities, while our local authority partners may share it with other housing associations working in their areas to provide a consistent approach.
We have a good track record when it come to not evicting customers. In 2019-20 we only evicted 80 households and last year this dropped to just two households, although the Government’s ban on evictions was in effect for a large part of the year. We have also continued to keep arrears below 2% for the last two years which helps to keep evictions low.