Blog Archive

September 2014

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    Changes to regulation methods to help the homeless access GP practises

    Research by Homeless Link reveals that the Care Quality Commission is reaction to concern that homeless people find it difficult to receive treatment from GPs with 2,500 denied accesses to a GP or dentist, reports Inside Housing. Alex Bax, chief executi ve of homelessness health specialist Pathway, said this was "a very common experience" for his clients. The Health and Social Care Act...

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    Plan for pre-paid benefit cards

    Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary, has said that this would help "on the margins break the cycle of poverty" reports the BBC.The cars will only be able to purchase some items in some stores and will not be valid in betting shops or off licences. It will initially be piloted on a voluntary basis and will target people who have addiction problems.An estimated one in 15 working-age...

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    Welfare reforms aimed at ending youth unemployment announced by David Cameron

    Currently Jobseeker's allowance is worth £50.95 a week for people aged between 16 to 24 and £64.30 for those over the age of 25. The new reforms will see JSA replaced with a six-month allowance, after which claimants will have to do community work if they've failed to find a job or apprenticeship, reports the Guardian.Cameron said on BBC1's Andrew Marr Show: "At heart I want us effectively to...

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    Removal of housing benefits for young people, pledge Tories

    Speaking at the last Conservative Party conference the prime minister said that his party would also cut the household benefit cap by £3,000 from £26,000 if they're in power after the next election, reports Inside Housing.These plans will see most unemployed young people losing their entitlement to housing benefit.The reduction of the total household benefit cap and the restriction on housing...

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    An American domestic violence model to be introduced in a London borough

    Harrow Councils will become one of the first local authorities in the UK to use the American Family Domestic programme, which has seen much success in breaking the cycle of generational domestic abuse, reports 24dash.Councillors have approved the £200,000 funding required to set up the programmes, which uses a holistic approach to tackling domestic violence by bringing families together to...

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    Over 600 tenants appealing against bedroom tax

    Almost 1,500 households owned by Coast and Country Housing have been affected by the under-occupancy penalty with many of these being vulnerable tenants, reports 24dash.A recent tribunal success has encouraged the social landlord's Tenant's Working Together Group to share knowledge and assist tenants in appealing.Kim Gallagher chair of Coast & Country's Tenant Panel, said: "The Bedroom Tax is...

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    Five year high for homeless families in temporary accommodation

    Statistics from the Department for Communities and Local Government reveal 13,140 households were accepted as homeless between April and June this year, which is 2% lower than during the same quarter last year, reports Inside Housing. However the number of homeless families in temporary accommodation stood at 59,710 at the end of June which is 6% higher than the same date last year and is a...

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    Using neuroscience to teach young people about mental health

    Rebecca Slack a PHD researcher at Sheffield University says that if a child breaks their arm everybody talks about it; however if a child becomes depressed there is usually no discussion about it at all, Ms Slack writes in the Independent.Ms Slack believes that this is because there is no answer to when the brain will ‘heal' and when people will begin to feel better again. However people...

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    Homelessness drops in Wales

    Welsh government numbers for the first fiscal quarter of 2014/15 shows that 1,255 households were accepted as homeless, whereas last year there were 1,360 which is an 8% drop, reports Inside Housing.Along with this the number of decisions made on homeless applications had dropped by 14% compared to the previous year. The number of households in bed and breakfast accommodation is at its lowest...

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    Police overlook disability hate crime

    Lord MacDonald told the BBC that improvements in the police's tackling of racial hate crime had not been replicated in relation to disability.As the outgoing director of public prosecutions in 2008, he described disability hate crime as a "scar on the conscience" of the criminal justice system."There have been lots and lots of cases involving disabled people who have been terribly abused,...

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    Silver Sunday to celebrate older people and help them feel less isolated

    The first Silver Sunday was held in 2012 and was set up specifically to combat loneliness experienced by older people reports, the Yorkshire Post.Last year around 300 events took place which included Zumba classes, kurling and a worl record attempt for the largest gathering of centenarians.Coun Flight said: "It is a big step if you are on your own to get out there and do something new. But brave,...

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    Older people should receive care at home rather than at hospital

    Burnham told a Guardian event that "In your 90s, your needs become a blur of physical, mental and social. You need one service for the whole person. This is about moving the system from a medical model to a social model. There needs to be a single commissioning budget so we can make the link between health and education, planning, leisure, and crucially health and housing ... Somewhere along the...

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    Social media campaign aimed at removing mental health stigma

    With the use of social media, we know that our friends are never far away and easily contactable. One initiative called ‘I Will Listen' wants to use this to create an online support group to help people who are suffering with their mental health. The ‘I Will Listen' campaign has been created by the New York City chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness and JWT New York. The idea is...

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    Social media campaign aimed at removing mental health stigma

    With the use of social media, we know that our friends are never far away and easily contactable. One initiative called ‘I Will Listen' wants to use this to create an online support group to help people who are suffering with their mental health. The ‘I Will Listen' campaign has been created by the New York City chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness and JWT New York. The idea is...

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    Tenants struggling with universal credit urged to seek help by their social landlord

    Mutual housing society Rochdale Boroughwide Housing has held workshops for over 600 employees so that they will be able to provide support and guidance on universal credit, which is currently being rolled out across Rochdale, reports 24dash. Angela Havens, RBH's head of income and support, said: "As a mutual society we want to help people stay in their homes as this is the best way of building...

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    Social landlords receive more information about universal credit

    Until this new development social landlords were reliant on being informed by their tenants of any switch to the new benefits system, which made it difficult for landlords to provide help to new claimants, reports 24dash.In its consultation document, published today, the DWP said: "The intention is that, under the proposed amendments, social landlords would have responsibility for assessing...

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    Bedroom tax removal guaranteed under labour says shadow housing minister

    Whilst speaking at the National Housing Federation's conference in Birmingham the MP called the bedroom tax "cruel and iniquitous" and "worst thing the coalition government has done", reports 24dash.She said that the policy had failed in its primary objective to free up larger social homes for bigger families.She said: "To the Tories, land has become a speculative commodity rather than something...

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    Exempt & Specified Accommodation

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    Social landlord's funding for project to support struggling families

    £2,000 funding from Salix Homes has helped create a community garden within Larkhill Primary School's grounds where families can grow their own fruit and vegetables, reports 24dash. Over 30 families are using the garden which also includes benches, a child's sand pot and a sensory garden.Wendy Hughes, learning mentor and family support worker at the school, said: "The garden is making such a...

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    Family homes are needed to help offenders re-offending

    A study by HM Inspectorate of Prisons, HM Inspectorate of Probation and Ofsted had found that almost one in five prisoners did not know where they would be living once they left jail, reports Inside Housing.The report found "having a stable place to live would help [the ex-prisoners] to not reoffend" and recognised the "central importance of an offender's family and friends to their successful...

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    Over 11,000 households are now on universal credit

    The latest data released by the Department for Work and Pensions shows this was a rise from 7,460 households in July 2014 and 6,630 in June 2014. The increase is due to the rapid roll out of the programme, the DWP says, reports Inside Housing. The roll out has mainly been in the north west of England and mainly for single claimants with no dependants or disabilities, however some centres are now...

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    One council's budget for homeless people is docked by £8m

    The Derby Telegraph reports that there were three times the number of individuals and families being made homeless in 2013/14 than 2012/13. The reports says: "This saw a reduction in [council] commissioned support from 49 services supporting around 5,000 vulnerable people to seven services supporting 165 vulnerable people. It adds that all these services are aimed at "vulnerable homeless groups....

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    Removal of local welfare funding reconsidered by the government

    Islington Council and charity Child Poverty Action Group were involved in judicial review proceedings against the decision to remove the £172m local welfare provision grant which is mostly used to support people who have short-term financial difficulties, such as benefit delays, reports Inside Housing.The crisis loans schemes and community care grants were previously administered directly by the...

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    Supported housing for homeless people at risk due to budget cuts

    Streams Supported Housing in Walsall provides accommodation for 21 young adults for up to two years to provide care and support. It is run by First Base Walsall in partnership with YMCA Black Country Group and is facing closure at the end of the month after a contract has been ended, reports the Express and Star.Walsall Council have said that after a review of supported housing provision across...

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    Ex-offenders ‘lacking home and job'

    An inspection into resettlement provision for adult prisoners had followed 80 offenders after they left prison. Chief Inspector of Prisons Nick Hardwick said that it found the role of a prisoner's family in their resettlement to be overlooked, reports the BBC.The inspection said family relationships were too often seen as a matter of "visits which could be reduced or increased according to an...

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    £60m community investment project by social landlord

    Improvement work will replace or improve community facilities which includes fences and hedges, upgrade street lighting, create drop kerbs and better car parking areas alongside a boost in security and green areas, reports Inside Housing.Currently it is being consulted with all communities to identify where people feel the money would be best spent. The project will take place over the next four...

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    Social care is being limited due to council cuts

    ADASS are warning that cuts are making the care system "unsustainable" with charities saying hundreds of thousands of people are struggling without help, even though the government says councils have been given an extra £1.1bn to help protect social care this year, reports the BBC.In 2010-11, Adass says 72% of councils in England only offered help with care to adults with substantial or critical...

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    Fears for people in supported housing after councils scale back regulations

    Figures obtained from Freedom of Information requests have found that over half of 58 upper-tier English councils have gotten rid of nationally recognised form of regulation services such as hostels and sheltered housing, reports Inside Housing.A housing expert, who declined to be named, said: "If [councils] haven't got systematic ways [of regulating providers], there is no way of knowing whether...

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    Conflict between benefit reforms and housing policy increasing homelessness

    The CIH have said that new council powers to house homeless people in the private rented sector is conflicting with government welfare reforms which have discouraged private landlords to rent to benefit claimants, reports Inside Housing.Grainia Long, chief executive of the CIH, today called for an ‘urgent' national review of the ‘clear conflict' between welfare and housing policy.The CIH have...

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    An eight year low for social housing aimed for older people

    Homes and Communities Agencies' data reveals that the total amount of housing for older people owned by landlords has dropped below 300,000 for the first time since 2007, reports Inside Housing.The HCA's data shows that landlords own 299,876 homes for older people as of 31st March this year, which is a reduction of 1.7% from the previous year. The HCA believe that this decrease could "be linked...

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    Reading Matters campaign sees ‘recovery' library open for homeless people

    This campaign aims to improve numeracy and literacy for homeless people as St Mungo's found that homeless people they surveyed wouldn't achieve GCSE grades D-G currently, reports 24dash.Adrian Bailey MP, chair of the Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee said the committee was "bowled over" by the work being done by St Mungo's Broadway when MPs heard evidence earlier in the...

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    Error in housing benefit rises

    Statistics from the Department for Work and Pensions show that the total value of housing benefit overpaid due to claimant or council error has increased by 9% from last year, reports Inside Housing.Along with this there has also been a large decrease in the number of benefit cases referred for council fraud investigation between March 2013 and the same month this year.Ministers have said that...

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    Right to move consultation for social housing tenants is launched

    Eric Pickles, Communities Secretary, announced that a consultation on how local authorities can ensure existing tenants will have a guaranteed ‘right to move' will be launched, reports 24dash.This means that existing council or housing association tenants finding new work in a different location will not have to sacrifice their home for work.Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said: "We want to...

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    Housing associations still at risk due to welfare reforms

    Moody's have issued a warning that says "the worst may lie ahead" for landlords when it comes to welfare reforms affecting their finances, reports Inside Housing.Moody's said that associations have proved resilient to welfare reforms, including the bedroom tax and benefit cap, to date. It said: "In general, arrears, voids and bad debts have been lower than projected in housing association...

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    Experts believe dementia patients face ‘care tax'

    The Alzheimer's Society have found that on average the equivalent of £32,242 a year was spent on care per patient, however researchers said that on average only a third of £10,784 came from NHS or council funds, leaving a shortfall, reports the BBC. The research has been carried out by the London School of Economics and Kings College London and was taken to update figures compiled by the...

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    Housing association granted funding to prevent social isolation in older people

    The funding from the Big Lottery Fund will enable South Yorkshire Housing Association to lead a partnership of 11 organisations which will support and engage people over the age of 50 who are at a high risk of loneliness, reports 24dash. The focus for the funding will include older people on low incomes, carers, BME groups and people experiencing poor mental health.The partnership aims to...

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    Many young people leaving care are placed in B&B's

    Children's charity Barnardo's have obtained date through Freedom of Information requests which reveal 73% of local authorities in England have placed young care leavers in B&B accommodation in the last year, reports Inside Housing.The survey found that 46% of councils had placed young care leavers in B&B's more than once over the last year and 51% had placed young care leavers in B&B's for over...

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    Mental health must be a bigger priority says chief medical officer

    Dame Sally Davies has said there have been signs that funding for mental health services was being cut at a time when the cost to the economy was rising, reports the BBC.In an annual report Dame Davies found that mental illness had led to the loss of 70 million working days last year. Due to this she is not only calling on a greater emphasis on mental illness in the NHS but she also wants...

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    Launch of Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance

    An alliance led by Standing Together Against Domestic Violence, housing association Peabody and social business Gentoo Group are working together to prevent domestic abuse in the housing sector, reports 24dash. Over five million people live in affordable housing in England and Wales and the government are welcoming a housing centred approach at tackling domestic abuse. This alliance is an...

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    MPs vote in favour of bedroom tax changes

    A private members bill would see tenants exempt from the bedroom tax if a reasonable offer of alternative accommodation has not been received. MPs voted by 3307 to 231 in favour of the bill during its second reading in the House of Commons, reports Inside Housing.Rachel Reeves, shadow work and pension's secretary described the vote as "an important victory for all those paying today." Labour will...

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    Rough sleeping reduction targets are a struggle for charities

    The social impact bond works with 831 entrenched rough sleepers in the capital, which see homelessness charities paid on outcomes such a reduced rough sleeping, sustained accommodation and less visits to hospital, reports Inside Housing.On Tuesday the department for communities and local government published an evaluation of the scheme and said both charities had struggled to meet their quarterly...

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    Coalition to discuss housing benefits in House of Commons

    Lib Dem MP Andrew George wants more people to be exempt from the bedroom tax and Nick Clegg has ordered his MPs to back Mr George's bill. The Tories however have been ordered to vote against the bill today, reports the BBC.If Mr George's bill is successful people who could not be found a smaller home would be exempt from housing benefit changes. People with disabilities in need of a spare bedroom...

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    Help scheme for universal credit trialled

    The government are trialling a new scheme to help universal credit claimants pay their rent on time by making it easier to access money advice services, reports Inside Housing.The DWP is a piloting a new programme in four job centres across Britain to support claimants undergoing an assessment about their ability to work by directing them towards money advice if they are struggling with their...

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    MP says universal credit is ‘on life-support'

    The shadow minister for welfare reform has taunts Iain Duncan Smith in the House of Commons after the Work and Pensions Secretary has repeated his claim that the ‘full business case' for the new benefits system would be signed off "very shortly" reports 24dash. Chris Bryant said: "The truth of the matter is that this programme-the Secretary of State's pet project-is being kept on a...

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    Cambridge City Council accused of letting down homeless families

    The authority has been found guilty of three counts of maladministration by the Local Government Ombudsman relating to separate cases which occurred during shortages of temporary accommodation in Cambridge, reports Cambridge News. Cllr Kevin Price, the executive councillor for housing in the newly-elected Labour administration, said he took the cases "very seriously".He said: "There is no doubt...

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    Mental health bed cuts in Norfolk and Suffolk criticised

    The local clinical commissioning group (CCG) plans are being scrutinised by Norfolk county councillors. The Campaign to Save Mental Health Services in Suffolk and Norfolk said the beds and the suite in Carlton Court in Lowestoft were vital to keep, reports the BBC.A report to the Norfolk Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee has said that cuts were being looked at as part of the Trust's need to...

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    Social landlord supporting vulnerable families by distributing pieces of Commonwealth Games furniture

    GHA has begun moving the furniture, which includes sofas, beds and wardrobes, for the Athlete's Village in Dalmarnock from the Glasgow 2014 games into storage facilities, reports 24dash.Once all of the furniture has been collected and catalogued it will be distributed directly to tenants in and around Glasgow.The furniture was previously used in the accommodation for the athletes and officials...

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    One MP suggests NHS land should be used to build homes for older people

    Paul Burstow, a Lib Dem MP, has said that retirement villages and adapted flats were needed alongside traditional homes, after his review of residential care. The review also suggest planning rules to be relaxed and discounted prices offered to encourage investment, reports the BBC. In return care providers could be asked to contribute to council care, which could be done by setting quotas for...

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    New homes built to support victims of bedroom tax

    The Guinness Partnership's £1.3 million development in the Scale Hall area will deliver six two-bed houses and 12 one-bed flats arranged as semi-detached pairs, reports 24dash. The new homes are expected to be complete by January.Richard Parker, an architect at Harrison Pitt Architects, the firm that designed the homes, said: "Recent changes in government housing policy are fuelling a demand...

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    Survey finds people are nervous about future care funding

    A YouGov poll found that 71% of adults were not confident that they will be able to pay for care services if they require them, reports Inside Housing. Home Group commissioned the poll and is calling on the government to put more money into the care system.Rachael Byrne, executive director of care and support at Home Group, said: "This survey details just how deep public concern runs regarding...

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    £120,000 paid by Shropshire council due to bedroom tax

    Freedom of Information requests by the Shropshire Star have found that 568 people were awarded discretionary housing payments due to bedroom tax from April 2013 to March 2014. This totalled a cost of £119,974.95.A spokeswoman for Shropshire Council said: "These are people who have a shortfall between their rent and their housing benefit payments. There are many reasons why a household may be...

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    Vote date set for bedroom tax changes by Liberal Democrats

    The party is set to impose a three line whip on its MPs to vote for private members bill tabled by Andrew George. The bill will exempt people from the bedroom tax if reasonable alternative accommodation has not been offered by their landlord, reports Inside Housing. The secretary of state would also be required to review the availability of affordable homes and intermediate housing whilst...

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    Support for young offenders by housing association

    West Housing Trust has given the 16 and 17 year olds a five day multi skills course to help them begin a career in construction. The course provided introductory training and covered a variety of trades, reports 24dash.The scheme is part of a commitment from the housing provider to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour across its neighbourhoods and to prevent young people from re-offending by...

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    Staffing and resources puts pressure on homelessness programme

    Inside Housing has found that many councils believe staff shortages are proving a barrier to fully undertake the government's £1.7m Gold Standard scheme, which was launched by former housing minister Mark Prisk in April 2013.The Gold Standard scheme aims to improve standards by requiring councils to undertake ‘diagnostic peer reviews' (DPR) in which two councils assess an authority's...

What are the Future Funding Arrangements for Supported and Sheltered Housing? "Another informative session provided by Support Solutions, excellent session" P.R. - Wrekin Housing Trust

 

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