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Agenda Item No

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

Cabinet Meeting: 3 June, 2013

Report of the Cabinet Member for Housing, Building Maintenance and Community Safety

Section 180 Voluntary Sector Funding Proposals 2013 / 2014 for the Homelessness Service

Purpose of the Report

1. To seek approval from the Committee for the allocation of S.180 funding to voluntary sector bodies for the financial year 2013/ 2014

Recommendations

1. That the Director of Legal, Public Protection and Housing be authorised to pay the S.180 funding to Tabernacle Home Access to the amount of £5,000, Llamau’s JIGSO project the amount of £12,000 and Llamau’s furniture project the amount of £6,000 for the financial year 2013 /14.

2. That the funds requested are authorised to continue to compliment the varied homelessness prevention options currently offered.  

Reasons for the Recommendations

1. To ensure that the resources are made available to develop key services to assist the Council in complying with its statutory homelessness duty

2. To ensure that these services are delivered in the most efficient and effective way and that they complement the services already being offered by the Statutory Services in Housing and Social Services.

Background

2. Part VII of the Housing Act 1996 empowers local authorities to give assistance by way of grant or loan to voluntary organisations concerned with homelessness or matters relating to homelessness in their area. This provides for the provision of services where local authorities do not have the expertise to manage particular cases / clients or where the voluntary sector can provide services more cost effectively. For example, providing advice for young vulnerable people and bonds to access private sector housing

3. It is now a requirement of the Welsh Assembly Government that support services be included within the Supporting People Revenue Grant or Supporting People Grant. This means that S.180 funding need only be provided to those agencies who fall outside the criteria of the Supporting People Revenue Grant.

4. Since 2005 / 06 the Council has provided S.180 funding to three voluntary sector organisations who provided four services, in addition to the Council, to homeless persons in the Vale. These are:-

Tabernacle Home Access Project – Accommodation finding and bond services - £5,000.

Llamau – JIGSO project – Advice and assistance to single people aged 16 or over who are homeless / threatened with homelessness. Includes a bond service, landlord and tenant support and general housing advice – £12,000.

5. Llamau – Furniture grants to homeless people who cannot fund the purchase of furniture - £6,000

6. This funding allocation reflects the objectives identified in the Housing Strategy Action Plan under Strategic Aim 3: To eradicate homelessness and ensure the public have accessible, high quality advice and information on housing matters.

7. Given the recent and pending Welfare Reform changes coupled with implications expected in 2015 through the introduction of the Housing White Paper, homelessness presentations are anticipated to increase by 25% placing even greater pressure on resources. The combination of these changes means that greater emphasis will be placed on homelessness prevention and redirecting potentially homeless households away from the statutory route provided by the Council. The schemes therefore have the potential to significantly mitigate these Welfare Reform impacts as well as homelessness and will continue to assist the Local Authority to meet Statutory Duties and Corporate Objectives.

8. Scrutiny (Housing and Public Protection) Committee report on13th March, 2013 highlights the positive contribution the Third Sector play in responding to homelessness in the Vale and the added value provided as a result of Section 180 funding provided by the Council.

Relevant Issues and Options

9. The Council is looking at various options to increase their homelessness prevention focus, which should reduce the numbers of clients facing homelessness, reduce the use of inappropriate temporary accommodation and increase the supply of good quality temporary accommodation. Part of the exploration of options, includes looking at whether services currently being outsourced (such as these) could be brought back in-house with no ill effect on the service combined with a cost saving to the Council.

10. The report put to Cabinet 18th November 2009 (minute number C685) introduced the need for a review of the current funding arrangements and the plan to carry this out as a matter of urgency. However with the reconfiguration of Children’s Services and the opportunities this presents for more joint working between the teams, this review was delayed to allow the re-structure and for joint working to be implemented.

11. The reconfiguration of Children’s Services has now been completed and joint working is under way via the One Stop Shop approach based in Llamau’s offices on Holton Road. This service provides support for young people assessed as being ‘in need’, better joint working between the teams and ensures that the Council meets it’s statutory duties under both Leaving Care and Homelessness legislation in light of recent case law updates.

12. In particular the allocation of the funds will reflect the objectives identified in the Housing Strategy Action Plan under Strategic Aim 3: To eradicate homelessness and ensure the public have accessible, high quality advice and information on housing matters.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

13. The £23,000 under the S.180 funding programme is taken from the Council’s General Fund and is included within the Council’s Estimates for 2013/ 2014

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

14. The provision of the S.180 funding to voluntary organisations will enable costly statutory duties to re redirected thus allowing the internal financial resources to become increasingly effective in identifying alternative options for the use of homelessness prevention.

15. The S.180 funding will also promote community sustainability ensuring that we are able to utilise and range of tenure options across the Vale of Glamorgan and in particular areas of high demand.

16. Approval of this funding will have no adverse impact on climate change.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

17. The provision of S.180 funding to voluntary sector organisations will enable the Council to fulfil its statutory homelessness duties as set down in Part VII of the Housing Act 1996, the National Assembly for Wales Homelessness Commission, the Homelessness Act 2002 and Statutory Instrument 2001 No. 67 (w.30) Housing, Wales Homeless Persons (Priority Need) (Wales) Order 2001. Access to good quality, warm and structurally stable shelter is a fundamental human right and the development of these services will do much to ensure the basic requirement is extended to some of the most vulnerable households in the Vale of Glamorgan.

Crime and Disorder Implications

18. The development of homelessness services will protect and support very vulnerable clients who are likely to be more susceptible to experience crime and disorder difficulties if these projects were not developed. The provision of the services to very vulnerable clients will have a beneficial impact upon reducing crime and disorder in the Vale of Glamorgan. The provision of support services to vulnerable homeless people will also allow for the Council to provide more stable housing and support which will minimise the potential for criminal activity.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

19. The provision of S.180 resources to voluntary sector partners will enable the Council to ensure its statutory homelessness service complies with the requirements of the Homelessness Bill and the work of the Homelessness Commission, which is focused on addressing one of the most acute forms of social exclusion in Wales today. Supporting People will provide a new framework at the local level for the funding and support of the elderly and very vulnerable tenants and clients of Council services and will enable the Council to develop and maintain support services to meet their needs.

Corporate/Service Objectives

20. This report is consistent with the following Corporate and Service Objective of the Council:-

  • Social Wellbeing and Tackling Disadvantage
  • Ensuring that all Vale residents have access to good quality, affordable and appropriate accommodation that is sufficient for their needs
  • Providing homelessness and housing advice and information
  • Assessing the needs of vulnerable children and older people

    Policy Framework and Budget

    21. This report is a matter for Executive decision.

    Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

    22. No members were consulted as there are no proposals within this report that will affect a specific ward

    Relevant Scrutiny Committee

    23. Housing and Public protection

    Background Papers

    Part VII Housing Act 1996

    Vale of Glamorgan Housing Strategy 2007 - 2012

    Vale of Glamorgan Supporting People Operational Plan 2010/11

    Report to Cabinet January 30th 2001 – S.180 Voluntary Sector Funding Proposals 2002 /2003

    Council Minute No 457

    Report to Cabinet S.180 Voluntary Sector Funding Proposals

    Report to Cabinet 21st January 2009 – S.180 Voluntary Sector Funding Proposals 2008/ 09

    Council Minutes No C685

    Scrutiny Committee (Social Care & Health) 23rd November 2009

    Report to Cabinet 2nd June 2010 – S.180 Voluntary Sector Funding Proposals 2012/13

    Council Minute C911

    Report to Scrutiny (Housing and Public Protection) Committee: 13th March, 2013 - S.180 Voluntary Sector Funding Proposals 2012/1213

    Contact Officer

    Ian Jones - Homelessness & Housing Advice Manager

    Officers Consulted

    Committee Reports - Legal

    Housing - Accountant

    Responsible Officer:

    Miles Punter, Director of Visible Services and Housin