COPELAND Council’s housing team prevented 218 households from becoming homeless in the last year, new figures reveal.
During the past year, the focus of the Council’s homeless service has been working with individuals, families, support agencies and landlords to prevent people from having to leave their homes. The figure represents an increase from 195 households prevented from becoming homeless in 2015/16.
The work the team carries out to prevent homelessness includes:
- Mediating with parents and linking them into specialist support provision to encourage them to allow young people at risk of becoming homeless to stay at home, and to work on the relationship breakdown between them
- Working with landlords to negotiate tenancy breaches, such as high levels of rent arrears, and to put payment plans in place to prevent evictions
- Assisting people to access the practical help and support they need to manage their tenancies better, for example, debt management
- Working with specialist providers to secure accommodation before a person is in crisis
- Matching people in need of accommodation with private sector landlords and helping them with rent deposits
The Council will also begin a study of the impact of recent welfare reform on the borough’s residents, by collating figures of those affected directly by the benefit cap, universal credit and the bedroom under-occupancy rules. This will help the Council inform future housing priorities.
Mike Starkie, Mayor of Copeland, said: “Homeless prevention is important and an area where we have been particularly successful.
“We’ve seen a marked increase in those seeking our help in relation to homelessness, and we offer a wide range of services and advice, through our dedicated Housing Options Advisors, to support those. If you are concerned and need help, contact us immediately on 01946 598300.”