Holly Dagnall, NCHA Director of Homes and Wellbeing, tells us more about NCHA’s commitment to tackle homelessness:
“Homelessness and the threat of eviction, particularly from the increasing rents of the private rented sector and pressure from changes in the benefits system are completely unacceptable. With current stats showing that the average lifespan of a rough sleeper is just 47 years old and 160,000 households are currently experiencing the worst forms of homelessness, it’s clear that we need to work together as a sector to do more to support society’s most vulnerable.
“At NCHA, we’re determined to do our bit, recently publishing our Homes for Cathy document, which reinforces our commitment to the Homes for Cathy group and outlines some of the work we currently do to tackle homelessness in the East Midlands.
“Here are some of the ways in which we’re currently helping by:
- reviewing our Allocations Policy alongside our offer of tenancy support to reduce the number of households excluded from being allocated an NCHA property.
- providing temporary accommodation and resettlement support for households experiencing homelessness in Nottingham City, Loughborough, Derbyshire and Leicester City.
- recognising that lifting people out of poverty is the key to preventing homelessness. This year we will review the provision of our tenancy support services across the Homes and Wellbeing Department. We have a range of support for people experiencing problems and provide tenancy support and debt advice for our social and affordable housing customers alongside our specialist homelessness support. We also provide a welfare fund and an employability project – working to help people to secure better paid employment.
- reviewing our policy and practice on evictions, ensuring consistent practice across the Homes and Wellbeing Department from a ‘support then enforce’ perspective.
- working with the National Housing Federation regarding the Homelessness Reduction Act and having a commitment to working with local authorities on the ‘Duty to Refer’ for households facing eviction.
“Homelessness is a human emergency, but ending it is not an impossible task if we’re committed to do what’s necessary.”
NCHA is a Homes for Cathy member.