Tag Archives: tenancy sustainment

Culture shift key to homelessness prevention

A founding member of the Homes for Cathy group, Broadland adopted the Homes for Cathy commitments in 2018, with backing from its Board.  Homes for Cathy spoke to Broadland’s senior local delivery manager, Katie Docherty, to explore how the commitments have driven a culture shift in its housing operations.   

The Homes for Cathy commitments to end homelessness touch on every aspect of housing associations’ work, not just Care & Supported Housing. How did the adopting the commitments impact on your general needs housing operations?

The wording of Commitment 4 – “to not make any tenant seeking to prevent their homelessness, homeless” – was important and one of the most controversial areas for us when we became part of Homes for Cathy.  Without the threat of eviction, would tenants pay their rent?

Our intention was to flip things on their head, so that in situations where tenants wanted to prevent their homelessness, and we were doing everything we could around rent arrears, eviction would not be the end goal.  Instead, our aim was around tenancy sustainment, thereby avoiding all the costs of eviction and all the staff input required in terms of having to go to court. 

We wanted to use that staff input in a more positive way, by supporting tenants to use resources such as our welfare benefits advisor and tenancy support team, and to work with our income officers around budgeting.  We now advise tenants that, if they are covering their full rent, we won’t let their arrears increase and we agree a plan for them to pay off the arrears in instalments, an approach which has worked well. 

Thinking of the person has become the centre of the ‘process’; rather than contacting tenants to threaten eviction for arrears, we surveyed them to find out how they were feeling, what triggered them around their rent arrears.  Training around nudge theory helped us better understand what it meant to receive a brown envelope through the post and the impact of the wording of arrears letters.  

We also looked at case studies which had gone to eviction and used empathy maps to explore the touchpoints where tenants had contacted us, what that experience had been like, what that person would have felt on receiving their first letter about rent arrears and on receiving a final warning letter, what the outside factors would have been.  This helped give us a complete picture of why someone wouldn’t pay their rent. 

Our understanding of the drivers behind rent arrears was also backed up in data; we used the business intelligence platform Power BI to look at the demographics of people who were in rent arrears – including age, ethnic origin, disabilities such as mental health, children or no children, working or not – cross-referencing this with who was most likely not to be able to pay their rent, and who was most likely not to pay their rent at certain times, such as Christmas.  Armed with that data, we were able to plan targeted ‘preventative’ communications before tenants had even got into rent arrears.  For example, we had historical cases who had always missed payments in December or January, so would make a phone call in November to see how they were planning to pay their rent. 

It was a massive culture shift away from the whole process of warning letters and pre-court protocol that was so set in colleagues’ minds as how rent is collected.  It’s all about looking at the whole person.  Fortunately, this culture change coincided with Broadland creating a specialist income team separate to neighbourhood management, which really helped give them a sense of direction. 

Ultimately it costs a lot to evict someone, not to mention the ongoing voids costs of an empty property.  We calculated that the average cost of an eviction is between £8,500 and £11,900.  Since 2018, we have reduced evictions for rent arrears from 18 households to three households, in both 2019/20 and 2020/21, making annual savings of between £75,000 and £178,000.  Over the same period, we have sustained our level of arrears.

How has your approach to tenancy sustainment changed over time?

Rather than working towards eviction, our ethos is let’s work to get this person to stay in their tenancy and how can we achieve that?  The more we have built relationships with tenants, the easier it has become, because we have got to know the people who we need to contact and the people who just need an occasional check in by text. 

We’re having conversations every day with people; our rent officers have the freedom to say ‘What’s going on here?  Your home is the basis for everything, let’s try to figure out why you’re behind on your rent and is there anything we can do to help you find ways to budget so that you can pay your rent’.  At the end of the day, there’s not a high percentage of people who wake up in the morning and say I don’t care about paying my rent and I don’t want to live here anyway.

In terms of staff turnover, how do you ensure that person-centred culture remains embedded at Broadland?

We’ve had new staff members who have found the approach alien, but they can still see the benefits.  The income team has a great culture and a team leader who believes in our ethos and wants to achieve the commitment around not making tenants homeless who want to prevent their homelessness, which is important.  The team also has regular meetings where they support each other, and this helps to keep that consistency and belief in what they’re trying to achieve alive.  Our welfare benefits officer sits within the income team so he’s also part of that solution. 

What has been the impact of the cost-of-living crisis on how you engage with tenants?

Times are very difficult; people are choosing between heating and eating.  For us, it’s about re-examining the data, identifying those tenants on the lowest incomes or who are on the borderline, perhaps working a few hours but still receiving some housing costs, who therefore don’t have access to other grants and benefits, and working proactively with them. 

Commitment 2 is about flexible allocations and eligibility policies that allow individual applicants’ circumstances and history to be considered.  What changes has Broadland implemented to deliver this?

Essentially, the view at Broadland is that if the person can’t afford social housing rent, they’re not going to be able to afford to rent anywhere else, so we don’t turn anyone down based on affordability.  However, we still carry out an income and expenditure check with applicants.  If their projected expenditure is minus disposable income, the applicant will be referred to a team leader, so the appropriate support can be put in place. 

For example, Broadland has a welfare benefits advisor and tenancy support team to which applicants are referred if we consider they’re not maximising the welfare payments they are entitled to.  If the applicant is already receiving the benefits they’re eligible for, we will then go through the tenancy support route to explore if it’s a budgeting matter or if the team can gain access to any other support. 

We have a very low refusal rate for applicants; we had three refusals in total last year.  Typically, refusals will be around anti-social behaviour – for example if the area has suffered anti-social behaviour, we might choose not to house someone there who has a history of ASB.

By carrying out an affordability assessment, we can discuss budgeting and ask open-ended questions to establish any other support needs.  For example, if the applicant has just moved into the area, our neighbourhood officers might put them in touch with Men’s Sheds or the Norwich City community football scheme.  We want to make new tenants aware that we’re not just a bricks and mortar housing association there to collect rent – we’re part of the community and we have a wider offer.  A lot of this is done as part of a four week visit or call, so new tenants have had time to settle in.

How does Broadland approach Commitment 7 ‘To ensure that properties offered to homeless people should be ready to move into’?

We identified that there are some great grant schemes and charities out there who will give white goods – nine times out of ten we are able to source a fridge or a cooker for a tenant.  My view is that one of the key things that makes a property feel like a home are curtains or blinds at the windows rather than big bags or duvets – it helps tenants feel safe and secure, gives them privacy and means there’s no outward sign for neighbours to make a judgement, so they begin their tenancy feeling like they are part of the community. 

Unfortunately, there aren’t many grants available for curtains and blinds.  It’s the same for carpets – if you just have concrete on your floor or bits of carpet or a rug here and there, it’s not homely.  It’s those day-to-day things that can chip away at someone on top of all the other pressures that they might already have and can have a big impact.  We therefore have a specific budget set aside for Commitment 7 and we tend to use it for curtains and flooring to make the property feel like a home.  We don’t have an application form for this; it’s used specifically for tenants who have come from a homelessness background, which is the only criteria, whether it be a hostel, temporary accommodation or rough sleeping. 

We also try to ensure flooring and carpets are fitted before the tenant moves in, so the property feels like home from the beginning.  We probably do one of these a month when it feels like it’s needed.  It’s a relatively small budget but it does mean a lot to the people concerned.

Tackling homelessness has been part of Broadland Housing’s DNA since the association formed in 1963, around the time of the TV film Cathy Come Home.  Today Broadland provides more than 5,000 quality homes across Norfolk and north Suffolk, including sheltered housing and housing with care homes.

Making a property feel like a home for new tenants

Homes for Cathy Commitment 7 is to ‘ensure that properties offered to homeless people should be ready to move into’, a pledge that recognises that a home is not just bricks and mortar, but a place of comfort and safety where people who have experienced homelessness can thrive.  Homes for Cathy spoke to Sanctuary Operations Manager, Ben Tranter and Neighbourhood Partnership Manager, Melanie King, to find out about the housing association’s innovative ‘Welcome Home’ project, which is part of its wider ‘customer-first’ approach. The project provides new tenants with an Argos voucher up to the value of £500, ensuring customers start a tenancy with the household essentials they need to make a property feel like home. 

How did the Welcome Home scheme come about?

MK: I come from a housing background and was a housing officer for 17 years.  We’ve all experienced signing up a new customer and standing with them in an empty property and all they have is a carrier bag full of possessions.  For me and my colleague who developed the scheme, it was something very close to our hearts, as we had seen people come to us in that situation, who had previously been homeless or fled domestic violence with nothing. 

In setting up the scheme, we wanted to be able to provide new customers moving into a Sanctuary property with the household items they need in the first week of their tenancy.  We ran an initial pilot with Argos, whereby we offered people a pack of furniture and other items we thought they would need to start their tenancy, such as bedding, towels, a microwave, kettle, toaster, crockery and cutlery, a microwave cooking set, rubbish bin and a bucket and mop.  However, we found there were always items that weren’t in stock or had to be collected in store, which proved difficult for people without a car.

We learned from that initial pilot and decided that we should give new customers the choice of what they want to buy and what they feel is important for them to be able to move into their property.  We now provide an Argos voucher on the day a new customer signs up and it’s up to them how they spend it. Currently, we offer £400 of vouchers for a single person, £450 for a couple and £500 for a family.

BT: It’s about the principle of trusting customers to know what it is they need, rather than us telling them what they need.  It also gives us flexibility in that we can use the voucher scheme in combination with other services that are already out there, such as charities and other support mechanisms.  Colleagues also have access to our own interactive map of the external support services across our localities, which they can signpost customers to.

How are new tenants referred to the scheme?

BT: It starts at the point of the tenancy offer, when our lettings officers will have an initial conversation with customers to find out more about the situation they have come from and what they are bringing with them in terms of furniture and household items.  If a lettings officer has concerns that a new customer may be moving in with nothing and has no facility to get anything, they will then refer to the relevant housing officer.  During the property viewing, the housing officer will have a secondary conversation to understand what the customer will be moving in with and will decide whether they need the support of the voucher scheme.  It’s very much a feeling and a conversation.

MK: It’s very flexible – ultimately, we’re giving our housing officers another tool in their toolkit to support new customers to succeed in their tenancy.

How is the scheme funded?

BT: Our procurement colleagues and social value development officer have worked hard to develop relationships with suppliers to ensure we can build social value into contracts, and we were fortunate that one of our big supply chain partners agreed to wholly fund the scheme.  We have secured a pot of funding for the initial scheme but we’re hopeful that if we can demonstrate that there is an ongoing need and that the scheme is making a difference, we’ll be able to convince our supplier to continue to support it.

MK: We know that many of our suppliers have their own charitable objectives but are not always able to support a charity themselves, as they’re not operating in the right arena.  Partnering with an organisation like Sanctuary – where we have access to different types of services and skills – means they can find projects that have a good fit with their organisation and allow them to fulfil their charitable aims.  We’re also fortunate in that Sanctuary is keen to support innovation and encourages colleagues to use their initiative to develop projects such as this. 

What are the benefits of the scheme in terms of tenancy sustainment?

MK: Customers coming from a homelessness situation or sofa surfing can have a lot of other issues going on, and sometimes can sign up for a property and not move in.  With the Welcome Home scheme, we can offer people a home rather than a house; not only does it mean there’s one less thing for new customers to worry about, but it also helps reduce the likelihood of abandonments and the costs and issues associated with void properties. 

More importantly, the scheme helps us to make a connection and build a positive relationship with customers, which makes it far easier for them to approach us if they have a problem in the future, for example with their rent.

BT: It’s about the customer having confidence and trust in us.  As a landlord, we’re often seen as an authority figure, particularly by customers who have been street homeless; sometimes this can scare them, and they can pull away.  The scheme breaks down those barriers and helps them understand that we’re here to support them. This is more vital than ever as, sadly, we are seeing more and more people in need of support due to the impact of the cost-of-living crisis.

Sanctuary owns and manages more than 116,000 homes, making it one of the largest housing associations in the country. A not-for-profit housing association, its mission is to build affordable homes and sustainable communities where people choose to live.

Innovation in tenancy sustainment: how Bournville Village Trust has improved engagement with residents

A robust tenancy sustainment service is vital for housing associations seeking to avoid evictions and the potential homelessness that can occur for tenants as a result. 

The Covid pandemic was a catalyst for change in the way that the housing sector supported tenancy sustainment; many Homes for Cathy members have used the lessons learned during the pandemic to their advantage, adopting new ways of working to help tenants thrive in their homes.  Homes for Cathy spoke to Bournville Village Trust’s (BVT) Income Services Manager, Gareth Sinnett, to explore how its Well Winter campaign has influenced the association’s tenancy sustainment work.

What was the impetus behind the launch of the Well Winter campaign?

The initial driver was a response to the impact of Covid; at the time, many of our residents were experiencing unemployment or accessing furlough and we wanted to find a practical, financial response to help them through any short-term financial pressures.  While rent collection was a factor, encouraging residents to prioritise their rent went hand in hand with helping them in other areas, such as food vouchers and energy costs.

Unfortunately, the financial pressures that arose off the back of Covid haven’t relented.  If anything, the situation has got worse; the support packages that were in place during that time have been withdrawn, including the £20 Universal Credit uplift, and we’re now facing high inflation and a major rise in the cost of living, which makes having a package like Well Winter even more important. 

When residents are living hand to mouth and can’t see where their next meal is coming from, the ability to give that direct support makes a huge difference.  It has also benefited our relationship with them; whilst we always provided additional financial support through provision of white goods and home essentials through a tenant support fund, we had not previously directly issued food and fuel vouchers to our tenants before we launched the campaign.

Has the campaign helped improve resident engagement?

Definitely – one of the most challenging parts of our role is to encourage residents to contact us when they foresee an issue with their rent.  The biggest positive from the Well Winter campaign has been in developing that relationship further, to improve the trust between us.  They understand that we’re not here just to enforce rent collection or issue letters, we’re genuinely here to help them thrive in their tenancies.

Historically, we haven’t had always engaged in the same way with residents who aren’t in arrears; the campaign has helped us understand that there are many residents who pay their rent and don’t ever reach out to us, even when they are in financial difficulty.

Residents self-refer for Well Winter funding via an online application form and once they have contacted us, we’re able to have conversations about where they’re struggling and whether we can offer them financial support or refer them elsewhere.  In this way, we’re able to tackle any underlying issues before residents start falling behind on their rent.  Ultimately, it’s far easier to resolve rent arrears before they occur. 

Have you seen a large rise in the number of residents requiring tenancy support?

Caseload numbers ramped up during Covid and have remained high ever since.  However, more notably, the work we have had to put in to get the same results has gone up exponentially.  Not only has the complexity of the cases increased, but we’ve also adopted a more holistic approach to resolving some of our residents’ underlying issues, which takes time, energy and effort.  Meanwhile, with the cost of living increasing, there is a lot more pressure on us as a social landlord to keep our homes occupied and support tenants to sustain their tenancies where previously residents may have been able to access additional support in other ways.

Has your approach to tenancy sustainment helped reduce evictions?

We always promote engagement over enforcement, so if a resident is able to engage and work with us, we will work with them to potentially prevent any enforcement action.  Evictions are always a last resort; any eviction is effectively a failure for us as much as it is for the resident, so we try to exhaust every avenue, for example accessing Birmingham City Council’s homelessness prevention fund to reduce or clear debt on a resident’s account.  In this way we’ve been able to keep evictions down to a minimum – just two in the past 12 months. 

What tenancy support do you provide for new residents, for example those moving away from a situation of homelessness?

All new tenants will go through a financial assessment; this is about working with them to ensure that the tenancy is sustainable. This is supported though our financial inclusion team who will help them to maximise their benefits or seek additional financial support.  The focus here is on providing that support from the very start. For new residents, we can offer support through our community fund for things like furniture and white goods, which are typically higher expenditures at the start of a tenancy and can lead to added financial pressures for tenants who have just moved into a property. All new tenants also receive a decorating voucher of up to £300 when they first move in to support them in making it their home. It’s about making sure that new residents can sustain that tenancy.

How do you engage with your more vulnerable residents and what support do you offer?

Encouraging engagement with vulnerable customers is key to good housing management.  At BVT, we take our role very seriously and our entire front-line services are encouraged to work collaboratively to support our most vulnerable customers to sustain their tenancies.  We also keep a record of our most vulnerable customers and can offer tailored support depending on their circumstances.  Our income and housing management teams are skilled and knowledgeable and work together closely to case manage vulnerable residents’ ability to manage their rent account and sustain their tenancy, resolving any issues that arise.  For example, we can refer to our Money Matters financial inclusion team who offer targeted support and advice around benefits and welfare payments. 

We have also appointed an energy advisor in the past 12 months, a fixed term role funded through the Energy Redress Scheme, an initiative which supports vulnerable energy consumers by distributing voluntary payments made by energy companies that have breached Ofgem regulations.  The advisor offers direct support to our residents on reducing their energy costs, for example by managing their boiler, radiators and thermostat, as well as advocating for residents in situations where they may have been overcharged by energy companies.

What advice would you give to other housing associations looking to enhance their tenancy sustainment offering?

At BVT, we’ve always prided ourselves on a tenant first approach but having the ability to offer the additional support of food vouchers or help with energy costs through the Well Winter campaign means that we can have a very different conversation with residents.  Residents understand that they can speak to us and it’s really helped with engagement and building relationships.  The real jewel in the crown has been that building trust and understanding with residents has gone a long way to achieving earlier intervention and ultimately managing rent accounts on a much lower level.  Overall, it’s been a real success. 

Bournville Village Trust (BVT) is a values-led charitable trust working to create and sustain communities where people can thrive.  A registered social housing provider, BVT delivers a range of services across more than a dozen diverse and distinctive communities in Birmingham and Telford.

We’re often told by housing associations that they deliver what we do already. Here’s why they don’t and how we bring value to their offer

Rebecca White, CEO and founder of Your Own Place, explains how partnering with an external tenancy training provider can amplify a housing association’s existing support offer to prevent homelessness

Your Own Place turned eight in October.  Both a huge milestone and a source of great pride.  What is often unseen beneath the veneer of glossy social media, is the knock backs, the failures, the disappointments and frustrations – especially when I’m told ‘we do that already’. 

We have grown modestly, safely and sustainably, partly out of choice and partly because what we do is hard, different, bespoke, time-consuming and we’ve an unwavering commitment to doing it right and very well.  Continuing in this modest vein is almost comfortable right up until the point when I ponder the phenomenal difference we make beyond our great outcomes and numbers.  More people deserve to benefit from it!

Like many, Covid19 threw a curveball opportunity that has neither fundamentally changed us nor endangered us.  This is because our mission and vision were always clear – to prevent homelessness. The team is as strong as they have ever been, their ideas are getting away from me (in a good way) and our digital transformation (and I mean every letter of that second word) was all their work.

Amplifying existing housing association support

Our current brilliant housing association customers recognise the strength of their own offer alongside how it can be boosted by partnering with us. When we start a partnership we equip housing teams with the knowledge about our service and how it’s different – and also complementary.  Together we are able to further develop the skills, knowledge and confidence of your tenants alongside your offer.  With our delivery of tenancy sustainment workshops (TILS+ and DigiTILS+) we provide the space for tenants to reflect on what they have heard from their housing support officer or income officer.  Together, trainees in a group find their voice with us as an independent organisation.  They find themselves able to share their knowledge of the support they have received as well as their new skills. In so doing, the support your teams are providing already is amplified. Hearing from peer tenants about what support they have accessed and found useful as well as hearing the same content from a different voice in a different way boosts what you are doing already. This reinforces the messages that housing associations are already investing so much in.

Whether it’s income teams, benefits or money advice or even getting to the point of eviction, the support we see many housing associations offer often faces huge challenges of reaching people in difficult situations and often already in crisis. Ours is a prevention offer that can both prevent a crisis happening (freeing up your team’s time) or build the skills of the tenant to resolve the situation themselves (building resilience for the future and also freeing up staff time). These are not simply life skills, but skills for life.  They equip people to go further than simply resolving their money worries or tenancy responsibilities, but to consider enrolling at college, finding work, or simply leaving their room for the first time.

Partnership approach

We’re often told by housing associations that they deliver what we do already.  What we see are housing associations doing phenomenal work around advice and sustainment work that can be enhanced by a partnership. Here’s the value we can bring to that work:


  • Through facilitation rather than advice or 1-2-1 crisis support, we ensure the trainee residents not only gain the new knowledge, skills and confidence to sustain their tenancy, but develop the longer term skills of realising they have the skills needed to get help and find their own solutions.  All this means there is less pressure on your teams as trainees become more inter-dependent and resilient.


  • Like many housing associations, you’re as committed to tenancy support as we are.  We also know that our delivery style will be different to yours.  To take information on board and change behaviour the human brain has to hear things multiple times in multiple ways – by attending our workshops we reinforce your messages.


  • We know how hard it can be to get groups of residents together and yet we know how powerful the peer group can be.  As experts in their own lives, our group workshops offer the space to reflect on the support they may have had from you already, support each other and gain the confidence to act on your advice. This is our area of expertise and strengthened by being an independent organisation. It builds connections and inter-dependence and the confidence to engage with other group interventions (college or training courses and volunteering etc).


  • Our independence as an external organisation is a huge strength and enables us to hear the voice of the resident that is sometimes silent.  We can work with them and with you during our interventions to understand how they receive your service and include this in our impact reports for you.

Your Own Place exists to prevent homelessness by ensuring people have the skills to sustain a tenancy. For more information about the services it provides, contact rebecca@yourownplace.org.uk

Successful tenancies start at the top

Recent welfare reforms including the introduction of Universal Credit have made affording rent harder than ever in recent years. In response, many Homes for Cathy members have introduced tenancy sustainment initiatives, helping thousands of tenants facing financial hardship to stay in their homes.  Homes for Cathy spoke to Christine Ashton, Executive Director of Housing at emh group to discover how the organisation is making sustainable tenancies its mission…

The shift towards ‘Housing First’ is a welcome and humane change in the way organisations respond to homelessness. But it makes sustainable lives, homes and tenancies more important than ever.

Securing a permanent home if you’ve been sleeping on the streets or living in temporary accommodation only counts as a success if you’re then able to use it as the springboard to a better and more settled life. There’s not much point in gaining the short-term relief of a property if your financial, health, family or other circumstances mean that you end up homeless again within a few months. Similarly, housing providers can’t expect vulnerable people with little or no experience of successful independent living to thrive in new tenancies without appropriate personal support.

A whole-organisation commitment

At emh group, we have business plan commitments to both help prevent homelessness and proactively address the impact of welfare reforms – with performance measures to check what difference we make. These top-level aims feed down into everyday decisions about who we house and the kinds of extra support we and our partners can offer to help people sustain their tenancies.

We do this through a detailed sustainability assessment toolkit, an in-house financial inclusion team and a network of partnerships with local money advice agencies, specialist services and the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP). Together, these give previously homeless people the best chance of sustaining their tenancy. It’s an approach that maximises our ability to offer the intensive and wide-ranging kinds of help that so many people need.

The assessment starts well before someone is offered a home; as soon as we get details of a potential nomination from one of our 45 partner councils, or there’s an upcoming transfer or exchange. We consider each person according to a matrix that weighs up their disposable income against a dozen other personal circumstances to produce an overall risk rating for tenancy sustainability.

The checklist includes factors like age, mental and physical health, benefits entitlement and status, debts, previous tenancies and any history of drug or alcohol misuse, domestic violence or offending to help us objectively gauge each person’s prospects of success in an emh tenancy.

Based on this assessment, we mobilise different levels of support to give every new resident the best combination of housing and help. This varies from straightforward extra contact and checks by our neighbourhood teams, up to comprehensive input from agencies and networks specialising in money advice, family support, mental health or disability.

In exceptional cases, if we feel someone’s needs are more than we and our partners can cater for, we review the nomination – working with the person themselves and the council to explore the best option. We’re honest and up-front about our concerns, and do all we can to help them find a more suitable housing route. Everyone needs to live somewhere of course, but we’re clear about what we can and cannot do, and take our responsibilities for the safety of staff and comfort of other residents seriously. Above all, we want people’s tenancies to succeed.

Clear results

Through joined-up thinking and by targeting our time and resources onto the people we can help most, we’ve achieved some impressive gains, such as:

  • Over £4 million in extra benefits income for residents over the past five years via our Financial Inclusion Team
  • Almost £1 million in additional benefits delivered by Citizens Advice and other local partners in the last two years
  • Greatly improved joint working with DWP and Job Centre Plus to support the more than 2,500 residents now receiving Universal Credit, people with complex needs and help with training and employment
  • Swifter and more streamlined action on rent arrears, which has seen current debts fall to 3.12% of annual rent receivable
  • Closer links with voluntary groups to safeguard vulnerable people and make the best use of our housing stock
  • Greater use of non-legal sanctions and injunctions for anti-social behaviour, with eviction as a last resort.

Doing more together

The scale and social impact of the homelessness crisis demands that we keep on seeking ways to do more. Collaboration is vital – from leasing properties to help local authorities meet their statutory duties to staff donating clothes, toiletries and other essentials to previously homeless people when they move in. Our teams also contribute to a lunchbox scheme, which makes sure that children get a decent midday meal during the school holidays. We’re supporting the National Housing Federation’s Hacking Homelessness project, which focuses on making better, data-driven decisions to prevent evictions. In one case, this monitoring showed that we contacted the resident 263 times to help them sustain their tenancy. And through case clinics, we constantly review how we could act differently or more quickly to help people achieve better outcomes.

We’re clear that it’s up to organisations like ours to take a lead, and believe that partnerships and imagination are the keys to success. We’re happy to share our experience and methods of what works for us, to free the next generation from the misery and blight of homelessness.

Christine Ashton 

Executive Director of Housing

emh group

How is your organisation putting the Homes for Cathy commitments into practice at operational level?  Share your ‘Good Practice’ story by downloading our template and emailing it to us at homesfor.cathy@hightownha.org.uk.