Posts in Category: Housing & Homelessness

Supporting Homeless People during the pandemic (All Wales) 

Welsh Government’s £10million fund, enabled local authorities to engage with all those sleeping rough and ensure that they had access to safe and suitable accommodation to meet the pandemic restrictions. Within the first two weeks of lockdown, local authorities had accommodated, or re-accommodated, over 500 households who had either been sleeping rough or were in accommodation unsuitable for social distancing, this figure has risen to over 1000 households since the pandemic began.

 

Local authorities reconfigured teams and redeployed staff to ensure effective provision of services and also to find new ways of working with partners. The mechanism of a centralised coordination cell within each council brought together partners such as health, registered social landlords, police & probation, third sector organisations etc to collectively plan and deliver services.

 

These experiences have helped to shape and plan for current and future provision of homelessness and housing related support services.

Continuing to support homeless people during the coronavirus pandemic: local authority guidance | GOV.WALES

Welfare checks and support for council tenants (Wrexham CBC) 

Since 23 March 2020, 21,595 welfare calls have been made by Wrexham County Borough Council Housing Officers to their council tenants.

All Council tenants have been contacted at least once and officers are continuing with a second round of welfare calls, although this is now being impacted by the re-commencement of other housing functions and many tenants returning to work.  Tenants who couldn’t be reached by telephone have received a letter asking them to make contact with their Housing Office.

During the pandemic the support offered by the council’s Housing Officers has included financial advice and assistance, assistance with submitting Universal Credit claims and Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP), arranging affordable rent payment plans with tenants who were furloughed, and referrals to the Association of Voluntary Organisations in Wrexham for food parcels, prescription delivery and shopping. 

Officers also promoted services that may be beneficial for isolating tenants and made referrals to agencies offering support and advice on loneliness, domestic violence, mental health, and anti-social behaviour. Officers were also advising on the free school meals provision and raising awareness of scams to help keep vulnerable tenants safe.  For some tenants, the calls just meant a friendly person for them to speak to as they were feeling isolated.  The calls were very well received and appreciated by tenants.

Virtual Learning Environment Platform (Pembrokeshire CC) 

Pembrokeshire Youth Homelessness Team have adapted their practices to engage, educate, inform and support both young people and professional colleagues.  These initiatives include: Tenancy Skills & Homelessness Awareness Courses delivered through a blended learning programme; Interactive sessions with access to youth workers, as well as a repository of resources and a range of challenges, quizzes, work tasks and videos, will be hosted via a Virtual Learning Environment Platform (VLE). Individuals work will be set and monitored through this platform, with opportunities to access our physical learning environment in the Independent Living Centre (ILC) on a controlled appointment only basis. These sessions will be planned to coincide with key learning milestones achieved in the VLE. Those lacking the ICT skills to complete via this platform will be offered extra face to face sessions. Those without an appropriate device will be loaned one.

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The Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) represents the interests of local government and promotes local democracy in Wales.

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