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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Meeting: 20 October, 2014

 

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

 

Section 180 - Voluntary Funding for Homelessness Outcomes

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         To provide Cabinet with outcome information from Council funded voluntary sector homelessness schemes which assist the Authority in preventing homelessness and discharging its statutory duties.

2.         To seek approval to continue Section 180 funding for services that positively impact on the lives of those affected by homelessness.

Recommendations

1.         That Cabinet note the outcomes achieved by the projects managed by the Tabernacle Home Access team and Llamau.      

2.         That the Head of Housing and Building Services be authorised to continue to pay the Section180 funding to the Tabernacle Home Access Project, to the amount of £5,000 and Llamau's JIGSO and Supported Lodgings projects the amount of £18,000 for the financial year 2014/2015.           

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.         To ensure that Cabinet is fully informed of the important role these projects play in supporting the Council's homelessness service.

2.         To ensure the continuation of the Section 180 schemes detailed.

Background

3.         Part VII of the Housing Act 1996 empowers local authorities to give assistance by way of a grant or loan to voluntary organisations concerned with homelessness or matters relating to homelessness in their area.  For example, providing advice for young vulnerable people and giving bonds to people to access private sector housing

4.         It is a requirement of Welsh Government that support services be included within the Supported People Programme Grant (SPPG) and that Section 180 funding need only be provided to those agencies who fall outside the criteria of the SPPG.

5.         Since 2005 / 2006 the Council has provided Section 180 funding to the Tabernacle Home Access project and Llamau who both provide additional homelessness prevention services to homeless people in the Vale.

Relevant Issues and Options

6.         Given the recent and impending Welfare Reform changes coupled with the Housing (Wales) Act 2014, homelessness presentations are anticipated to increase by 25% placing even greater pressure on Council resources. In times of austerity councils need to rely on the voluntary sector to support them in their statutory obligations.

7.         Tabernacle Baptist Church Home Access was first established in 1993 providing invaluable housing advice to potentially homeless households. From 2013-2014, the scheme was contacted by 272 clients, 141 of which were new referrals for advice and assistance, the remainder were receiving ongoing support. 33 families were provided with accommodation with the necessary support ensuring their tenancy had the best chance of survival.

8.         Since 2005/06 the Council has provided Llamau with a grant of £12,000 in support of their JIGSO Project.  This project provides mediation and support to families in crisis. Historically the Council has also provided £6,000 towards a furniture scheme which assists young people in the Vale with basic home furnishings.

9.         This year Llamau have requested, due to preparation work for the pending new prevention duty, that the £6,000 formerly used for the furniture scheme be transferred to their very successful Supported Lodgings Scheme, thus increasing the temporary accommodation options available to young people in the Vale.

10.      Llamau work closely with both the Homelessness Team and the Vale's Children Services team.  Officers from Children's Services in 2011 asked Llamau to secure 15 placement units for young people in the Vale.  This target was met comfortably.  From 1 April 2012 the funding from Children's Services was increased to enable Llamau to employ a second Supported Lodgings Development Worker.  In that year the aim was to provide 30 placement units and weekend emergency provision which again was met.

11.      The Supported Lodgings Scheme is an essential resource for the young people of the Vale and has resulted in a massive reduction in the use of bed & breakfast and, therefore, the associated costs to the Council. The request to transfer funding is supported by Council Officers as the proposal is recognised as a strategic use of the limited resource available under the Section 180 grant.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

12.      The funding of the Tabernacle Baptist Church Home Access Scheme and the Llamau Projects are included within the Council's estimates for 2014/ 2015.

13.      The provision of the Section 180 funding to voluntary organisations will enable costly statutory duties to be delivered in a more cost effective way.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

14.      The Section 180 funding will promote community sustainability ensuring that the Council are able to utilise a range of tenure options across the Vale of Glamorgan and in particular in areas of high demand.

 

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

15.      The provision of Section 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, and the Homelessness Act 2002 as amended by the Housing (Wales) Act 2014, that places the new statutory requirement on all Authorities to prevent homelessness.

16.      Section 180 funding provision will be reviewed following a redesign of the current housing advice service in preparation for meeting the challenges of the Housing (Wales) Act 2014. 

Crime and Disorder Implications

17.      The development of effective homelessness services in the Vale will positively impact on the lives of those threatened by homelessness.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

18.      The provision of Section 180 resources to voluntary sector partners will enable the Council to ensure its statutory homelessness service complies with the requirements of the Housing (Wales) Act, which is focused on addressing one of the most acute forms of social exclusion in Wales today.

Corporate/Service Objectives

19.      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

20.      This report is a matter for Executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

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

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

22.      Housing and Public Protection.

Background Papers

Part VII Housing Act 1996

 

Vale of Glamorgan Housing Strategy 2014 - 2019

 

Vale of Glamorgan Supporting People Operational Plan 2010/11

 

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

 

Council Minute No 457

 

Report to Cabinet Section 180 Voluntary Sector Funding Proposals

 

Report to Cabinet 21st January 2009 – Section 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 – Section 180 Voluntary Sector Funding Proposals 2013/14

 

Council Minute C911

 

Contact Officer

Ian Jones - Homelessness & Housing Advice Manager - Tel: 01446 709467

 

Officers Consulted

Operational Manager  - Housing

Housing Accountant - Finance

Committee Reports - Legal

 

Responsible Officer:

Miles Punter - Director of Visible Services and Housing

 

 

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