bristol city council housing options advice service l.
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BRISTOL CITY COUNCIL HOUSING OPTIONS & ADVICE SERVICE. Introductions Housing situation in Bristol . Housing Options & Advice Services. The Hub Homeless Prevention & Temporary Accommodation Housing Access Team Single Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Welfare Rights & Money Advice Service.

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bristol city council housing options advice service



Housing situation in Bristol

housing options advice services
Housing Options & Advice Services
  • The Hub
  • Homeless Prevention & Temporary Accommodation
  • Housing Access Team
  • Single Homelessness and Rough Sleeping
  • Welfare Rights & Money Advice Service
housing situation in bristol
Population of Bristol

How many council properties

How many do we sell each year

How many new RSL properties built each year

Net loss p.a.

Housing situation in Bristol
housing situation in bristol4
How many people on the waiting list

How many are new applicants

How many homeless applicants p.a.

How many acceptances p.a.

What are most common reasons for homelessness

Housing situation in Bristol
homelessness prevention and accommodation team
Homelessness Prevention and Accommodation Team
  • Team Structure
  • Functions and objectives
  • Reducing B&B use & developing better alternatives
  • Roles of the team
  • Prevention work
  • Accessing private sector accommodation
team objectives
Team Objectives
  • Bring empty homes back into use
  • Reduce use of B&B & unsuitable temporary accommodation
  • Prevent homelessness (families and expectant mothers)
  • Improve access to private sector tenancies
  • Administer the council’s furnished tenancy scheme
  • Administer the Heading Home Forum
  • Develop alternatives to B&B
  • Manage some emergency accommodation
reducing b b use
Reducing B&B Use

June 1996 20 households (11families)

March 2001 95 households

March 2002 146 households

Feb. 2003 265 households (55 families)

March 2004 213 households (17 families)

Dec. 2004 105 households ( 6 families)

reducing b b key issues
Reducing B&B - Key issues
  • Government focus on families:

no families or expectant mums in for more than

6 weeks – this target is now law.

  • Family sizes
  • Numbers of singles and their needs
  • Lack of suitable temporary and permanent accommodation for singles
  • Lack of Supporting People funds
developing alternatives to b b
Developing Alternatives to B&B


  • Trinity Lodge & Fortfield Road
  • BCC emergency housing units
  • B&Bs developing self-contained units
  • A new family scheme ?
  • Domestic Abuse Safe Houses (Next Link)
  • Mother and Baby Homes
  • Increasing access to the private sector
developing alternatives to b b10
Developing Alternatives to B&B


  • Victoria Street Hostel; Spring House; Tollhouse Court
  • Pipeline : St Georges House (Young People)
  • ClearSprings – move on role
  • Role of BHP Development Sub Group
roles within the team
Roles Within the Team
  • Housing Adviser (Empty Homes)
  • Temporary Accommodation coordinator
  • Housing Adviser (Family Deposit Bond)
  • Housing Adviser (Furnished Tenancies)
  • Emergency Housing Officer
  • Heading Home Forum Worker
preventing homelessness families and expectant mothers
Preventing Homelessness – Families and Expectant Mothers
  • Currently a decentralised family homeless service – shortly to change
  • Central team of 5 Prevention Officers (including CEED Trainee)
  • Outreach service to 3 Divisional Areas: Easton (Central); Bedminster/Knowle (South); Henbury (North) – not yet operational
homelessness prevention families
Homelessness Prevention (Families)

‘Early intervention in cases of potential

homelessness to enable families to retain

their accommodation, or take another

housing option, that prevents them from

having to present to the local authority as


why prevention
Why Prevention ?
  • Government lead
  • More cost effective
  • Better service to clients – more choice
  • Diminishing social housing to respond to homelessness
what is prevention work
What is Prevention Work?
  • Mediation between landlord and tenant
  • Resolving tenancy issues – HB problems
  • Mediation in family disputes
  • Advice, including money matters
  • Offering other accommodation options, especially private sector
  • Prevention Fund used on a ‘spend to save’ basis
prevention is it successful
Prevention – is it successful ?
  • 500 family cases closed since March 2004
  • 387 (77%) prevented from presenting under the homelessness legislation
  • 127 found private sector housing
  • 51 tenancies saved
  • £200,000+ saved because cases were not placed in B&B
accessing private sector accommodation
Accessing Private Sector Accommodation


  • Deposit Bond Schemes – Singles and Families
  • Free Insurance (arrears and damage)
  • Payments of deposit and rent in advance
  • Grants for renovations
  • HB support service
the hub multi agency advice centre
The Hub – Multi-Agency Advice Centre

Opened 1995, with the key aims to:

  • Provide effective holistic responses to the needs of client groups
  • Provide coordinated services e.g. housing, social services and health
what was life like then
What Was Life Like Then?
  • Relatively easy to obtain council accommodation
  • Direct access hostels
  • No housing benefit restrictions
  • 20 people in B&B
  • One Homelessness Officer
what s life like now
What’s Life Like Now?
  • Much less council accommodation available (about 5,000 homes lost)
  • Priority access to hostels
  • Housing Benefit restrictions
  • Increasing property prices
  • Drug use
  • 100+ single people in B&B
  • Massive increase in B&B expenditure
the hub tried to carry on
The Hub Tried to Carry On…
  • 7 Homelessness Officers
  • Increased referrals to them from the front of house team
  • Increased stress / sickness amongst staff
  • Not workable
independent evaluation the recommendations
Independent EvaluationThe Recommendations:
  • Cannot carry on with the same model
  • Bring the front of house team into council management
  • Develop effective monitoring systems
  • Redefine Shelter’s involvement
the homelessness prevention agenda odpm
The Homelessness Prevention Agenda (ODPM)

‘You can’t help everyone’

  • Verification of homelessness and more home visits
  • Homelessness Prevention Fund
  • Reduced use of B&B
  • Homelessness Prevention Workers are the first point of contact
single homelessness rough sleeping team
Single Homelessness & Rough Sleeping Team
  • Commissioning
  • We currently receive £720,000 in ODPM homelessness grant
  • We use grant funds to purchase services which will meet Bristol’s 5 ODPM homelessness targets (currently 15 separate services.
  • We work closely with service providers to alter, improve and monitor services
bristol s homelessness strategy
Bristol’s Homelessness Strategy

The team is responsible for:

  • Bringing together the strategy (published August 2003)
  • Coordinating the Strategy Action Plan
  • Working in wide partnership to ensure that project developments meet Strategy priorities
  • Facilitating a range of Homelessness Consortium meetings and forums
24 7 homelessness assessment centre
24/7 Homelessness Assessment Centre

The Purpose

Provide coordinated multi-agency health,

housing and support services, with:

  • Detailed needs assessments
  • Client contracts and action plans
  • Clear routes into appropriate services

The Model

24 Short Stay,

Intensive Support

Hostel Bedspaces

Night Centre




the centre will
The Centre Will:
  • Bring together
  • Focus
  • Structure
  • Build on and improve

The services, skills, knowledge and expertise

of a wide range of agencies, within a core of

flexible day services, a Night Centre and

dedicated intensive support hostel bedspaces.

the centre won t be
The Centre Won’t Be:
  • A dumping ground
  • The solution to everyone’s needs
  • More housing
  • Another Hub Advice Centre
  • A replacement for other key services
housing options
Our Housing Options pack is on line now for you to use with clients

We do not have enough LA properties for everyone

We need every one to be more realistic about their housing aspirations

There are lots of opportunities to access private rented sector tenancies

Shared housing does work for many clients

Private rented accommodation often available in areas where there is no LA stock

Housing Options