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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Scrutiny Committee (Public Protection and Housing): 7th November, 2012

 

Report of the Director of Visible Services and Housing

 

Section 180 Voluntary Sector Funding Proposals 2012 / 2013 for the Homelessness Service

Purpose of the Report

1.             To seek the agreement of this Committee to progress the allocation of S.180 funding to voluntary sector bodies for the financial year 2012 / 2013.

Recommendations

1.             That the Committee endorses the contents of this report and refers the same to Cabinet for consideration and approval.

2.             That Cabinet be requested to authorised the Director of Visible Services and Housing 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 2012 / 2013.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.             To obtain the views of this Committee prior to the report being presented to Cabinet for approval.

2.             To enable the resources to be made available to develop key services to assist the Council in complying with its statutory homelessness duty.

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 Welsh 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 / 2006 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.

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

Relevant Issues and Options

5.             Officers are looking at various options to increase the Council's homelessness prevention focus, aimed at reducing the numbers of clients facing homelessness, reducing the use of inappropriate temporary accommodation and increasing 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.

6.             A report to Cabinet on 18th November 2009 (Min. No. C685 refers) introduced the need for a review of the current funding arrangements and advised of a plan to carry this out as a matter of urgency.  However with the reconfiguration of Children’s Services and the opportunities this presents for increased joint working between the teams, this review was delayed to allow the re-structure and for joint working to be implemented.

7.             The reconfiguration of Children’s Services is now complete 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’,  provides better joint working between the teams and ensures that the Council meets its statutory duties under both Leaving Care and Homelessness legislation in light of recent case law updates.

8.             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)

9.             The £23,000 under the S.180 funding programme will be provided from the Council’s General Fund and this amount is included within the Council’s Estimates for 2012 / 2013.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

10.        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 more effective in identifying alternative options for the use of homelessness prevention.

11.        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.

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

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

13.        The provision of S.180 funding to voluntary sector organisations will enable the Council to fulfil its statutory homelessness duties as set out 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

14.        The development of homelessness services will protect and support very vulnerable clients who are likely to be more susceptible to crime and disorder issues if these projects were not developed.  The provision of the services to very vulnerable clients should have a beneficial impact upon reducing crime and disorder in the Vale of Glamorgan. 

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

15.        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

16.        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

17.        This report is a matter for Executive decision by the Cabinet.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

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

Background Papers

Part VII Housing Act 1996.

Vale of Glamorgan Housing Strategy 2007 - 2012.

Vale of Glamorgan Supporting People Operational Plan 2010 / 2011

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

Council Minutes No C685.

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

Report to Cabinet of 2nd June 2010 – S.180 Voluntary Sector Funding Proposals 2012 / 2013.

Council Minute C911.

 

Contact Officer

Ian Jones - Accommodation Options Officer

Tel. No: 01446 709 467

 

Officers Consulted

Committee Reports - Legal

Financial Services - Accountant

Operational Manager, Children's Services

Operational Manager, Adult Services

 

Responsible Officer:

Miles Punter, Director of Visible Services and Housing

 

 

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