ModGov Infozone - Click to go to Tamworth Borough Council website

Agenda item

Homelessness Hub

(Update on the Homelessness Hub)


The Assistant Director, Neighbourhoods Tina Mustafa and the Head of Homelessness and Housing Solutions, Sarah Finnegan introduced a presentation to the Committee to provide an update on Housing Solutions and the Homeless Hub.


The Assistant Director, Neighbourhoods and The Head of Homelessness and Housing Solutions highlighted the following information –


·       Ensuring access to Council services including housing and adequate supply of affordable housing is at the heart of Homelessness.

·       The Council have approximately 1000 people per year presenting as homeless which is a fairly static figure. Around 47% of those cases are closed with advice and assistance without the need for triggering a formal homelessness duty.

·       The team were appointed to a taskforce due to their best practise around homelessness by the homelessness advisory support team.

·       figures in Bed and Breakfast remain low (single figures or 0) and the last Rough Sleeper count was 2 and are recognised for using creative and innovative approaches to homelessness.

·       The challenges faced from neighbouring authorities including Birmingham, and the need to continue working with partners and invest in Third Sector as well as the need to continue to monitor external pressure such as impact of the War in Ukraine.

·       Homelessness services costs are just over 1 million pounds per year but over half of this is met from a range of Government grants.

·       The Data within the presentation shows that strategy is making a difference.

·       The data shows that the ‘reason for approaches’ and ‘support needs’ have remained the same but the numbers have reduced significantly showing that strategic interventions including partnership working are having an impact.

·       The principles of the Homeless Hub that were agreed at Cabinet on the 16th March.

·       Evidence base shows that homeless household have a range of support needs as well as accommodation needs and therefore they are working with partners to provide a hybrid package of support.

·       The aim of the service to support those in Tamworth who may have accessed the service.


The Committee made the following comments/observations and asked the following questions:


·       Whilst the Government pledge is to eliminate rough sleeping by 2027 this does not take into account those that chose to live that way without removing their freedom.

·       Rough sleeping is not a major problem in Tamworth, historically Sofa Surfing is a greater problem, and therefore hidden homelessness is where efforts should be concentrated. Officers confirmed that Tamworth does not have an entrenched rough sleeper issue, but there is an issue with begging which presents as homelessness and this is being looked at as part of the strategy.

·       Clarification with regards to slide on page as to what ‘left institution’ covers. officers confirmed that this related to leaving prison on a mental health institution.

·       Aspirationally, how we would work with other authorities? Officers confirmed that this is recognised as important but that there is a varied repose from other authorities. Local partners within the county are keen to work together and that best practise is currently shared.

·       Clarification around how we deal with those who are evicted from supported housing, that are usually vulnerable? Officers confirmed that they work with individuals and partners to ensure this as is a last resort, as if an individual is judged as made intentionally homeless then there is no onward statutory requirement to provide support. That as part of their Personal Housing Plan they do work with partners beyond the area and will work with individuals to find the best outcome.

·       Whether other Councils who do not run an in house out of hours service, that Tamworth do, are they still directing individuals to Tamworth? Officers confirmed that Tamworth do still offer and 24/7 in house service but that they are very robust in challenging those that make contact from out of the area and redirecting them. Many other councils do outsource this service this is something that this is in the early stages of being looked at, but no decisions have been made.

·       It was commented that a Councillor had accessed the service to support a family and that the service had worked to resolve the situation quickly.

·       More information was requested around priority 3, ‘to improve access and supply of affordable and supported housing’. It was confirmed that the Homelessness Strategy identifies the need for new and affordable housing and that this manifests itself in a number of ways; looking at solutions with other providers; how we use our existing stock and how we target our acquisitions within current resources.

·       It was asked whether the condition of the temporary accommodation properties could improved? The officers said this would relate to the lettable standard and would be fed back to the Assistant Director, Assets.


The Portfolio Holder was invited to sum up the item. He reinforced the important of focussing on the prevention method, maintaining expansion on mental health services and commented that homelessness is an evolving situation with changing legislation and refugee situations that needed to be kept on top off.


The Chair commented that there were no recommendations but asked the. The Committee acknowledged that they were happy with the report.


The Chair thanked the Officers for attending and invited them to leave the meeting.

Supporting documents: