Issue - meetings
Allocation of Homelessness Prevention Funds 2019/20
The Head of Housing Services has submitted a report to seek approval of the allocation of homelessness prevention funds with the purpose of helping to meet the objectives of the Housing and Homelessness Strategy 2018/21.
Recommendation:That the City Executive Board resolves to:
Approve the allocation of Homelessness Prevention funds to commission homelessness services in 2019/20 as outlined in paragraph 56 to 58 below and in Appendix D, including the following changes to allocations
· Big Issue Service Broker – that this Payment by Results contract is ended and a contingency of £3,125 is made available to facilitate this
· OxTHINK – allocation increased from £4,396 in 2018/19 to £5,272 to cover costs relating to the continuation of licence agreements for service providers’ staff and further system development. This allocation to be reviewed in year to take account of alternative ICT solutions, including the new housing database.
· Emmaus – that funding is reduced from £10,000 in 2018/19 to £5,000 and will taper to zero in 2020/21 in recognition of the fact that Emmaus’ second-hand furniture superstore is expected to be financially self-sustaining in 2020/21 and will continue to provide work opportunities
· Network development - £5,000 towards the development and delivery of a programme of networking, learning and development for commissioned service providers’ staff and others as appropriate
· Access to leisure services - £5,000 to support former rough sleepers to access the Council’s leisure facilities free of charge.
· Contingency for Rough Sleeping and Single Homelessness - £1,587 allocated for in-year changes to committed allocations.
Approve that the Council enter into 24 month [1st April 2019 to 31st March 2021] grant agreements with the Response Organisation and Homeless Oxfordshire to deliver a combined Acacia / Housing First Service, with increased capacity to meet the needs of chronic and entrenched rough sleepers; and
Delegate to the Head of Housing in consultation with the portfolio holder for Housing the discretion to revise the intended programme within the overall budget if required.
- Appendix A, item 169 PDF 52 KB
- Appendix B Strategic priorities for preventing homelessness, item 169 PDF 57 KB
- Appendix C Allocation of Homelessness Prevention Funds 201819, item 169 PDF 94 KB
- Appendix D Proposed allocation of Homelessness Prevention Funds 201920, item 169 PDF 90 KB
- Appendix E Map of services for rough sleepers 201920, item 169 PDF 77 KB
- Appendix F Risk Register 07 Mar 19, item 169 PDF 12 KB
The Head of Housing Services had submitted a report to seek approval for the allocation of homelessness prevention funds with the purpose of helping to meet the objectives of the Housing and Homelessness Strategy 2018/21.
The Board Member for Leisure and Housing (Councillor Linda Smith) introduced the report which sought agreement to approve a total of £1.7m on a wide range of measures to prevent homelessness. Preventing homelessness was not just a matter of providing additional beds, as witnessed by the range of measures described. Those experiencing homelessness often have complex and overlapping needs which are exacerbated by the Government’s welfare reforms and cuts to services previously provided by the County Council and NHS. The effectiveness of the many and various measures were carefully monitored to ensure that the funding was being put to good use.
The Rough Sleeping & Single Homelessness Manager was able to report the recent confirmation by MHCLG that the Council has been allocated a further £0.5m for 2019/20 as part of the MHCLG Rough Sleeping Initiative. She also indicated that, as shown in the report, the cost of SWEP provision in 2018/19 had been forecast to be up to £50,000. However, despite needing to increase safety and security measures in relation to some high risk users mid-winter and opening SWEP on officer discretion on three occasions, the relatively mild winter has meant the costs of delivery are now expected to be lower than expected. MHCLG has also now confirmed that they will cover costs up to £35,000. This was welcome however the financial effect of this will simply be to reduce the proposed draw down from the homelessness reserve in 2019/20.
The many projects and different sorts of provision supporting this area of work could make it difficult to see at a glance how many beds of what type were available. The Rough Sleeping & Single Homelessness Manager agreed to provide clarification to the Board Member for Planning & Transport on the number of beds commissioned in the Adult Homeless Pathway including schemes to enable users to move on.
The Chair said the Council would like to be in a position not to have to allocate resources for this area of work but given its commitment to supporting these most vulnerable members of the community and reductions in services elsewhere there was no alternative. She thanked officers for all their excellent work over the last year in this very challenging area.
The City Executive Board resolved to:
1. Approve the allocation of Homelessness Prevention funds to commission homelessness services in 2019/20 as outlined in paragraph 56 to 58 below and in Appendix D, including the following changes to allocations
• Big Issue Service Broker – that this Payment by Results contract is ended and a contingency of £3,125 is made available to facilitate this
• OxTHINK – allocation increased from £4,396 in 2018/19 to £5,272 to cover costs relating to the continuation of licence agreements for service providers’ staff and further system development. This allocation to be reviewed ... view the full minutes text for item 169