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Information for professionals - homelessness prevention
Newcastle's Homelessness Prevention Trailblazer
The government acknowledged the strength of our Active Inclusion Newcastle approach by making Newcastle one of three national ‘early adopter’ Homelessness Prevention Trailblazers from 1 January 2017 to 31 March 2019. For more information, visit Newcastle’s Homelessness Prevention Trailblazer where there is an overview of our approach and a range of reports and resources to share our learning
Active Inclusion Newcastle
Active Inclusion Newcastle is a partnership approach developed as part of the Newcastle City Council 2013-16 budget setting process. It responds to the growth in demand for financial inclusion and homelessness prevention information, advice and support when resources and certainty are reducing; the transition residents and organisations need to make to a reduced welfare state; the scale of poverty and disadvantage many Newcastle residents face; and the need to change our culture, to promote preventative and partnership response. Active Inclusion Newcastle is guided by our local politicians’ values of fairness, inclusion and social justice and contributes to Newcastle City Council’s priorities of employment, education and skills, and housing. We do this by providing a framework to improve the coordination and consistency of information, advice and support, helping partners to increase residents' financial inclusion and to prevent homelessness. For more information, see our Active Inclusion Newcastle briefing note (pdf, 174kb).
This page includes information resources to support our collective work to prevent homelessness. For resources which support our work to increase residents' financial inclusion, visit our Welfare rights and money advice information for professionals and volunteers page.
Our partnership arrangements
• Active Inclusion Newcastle partnership arrangements (pdf, 563kb)
Ways to get involved
If you are interested in any of the groups in the Active Inclusion Newcastle partnership arrangements, contact the Active Inclusion Newcastle Unit (firstname.lastname@example.org) and you can find more information about our quarterly Homelessness Prevention Forum meetings here
Homelessness Reduction Act 2017
The Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 is the most significant homelessness legislation for 40 years. Most of the Act was enacted on 3 April 2018. It placed new legal duties on English councils so that everyone who is homeless or at risk of homelessness has access to help, irrespective of their priority need status, as long as they are eligible for assistance. The Act is accompanied by a new code of guidance and a new monitoring system for councils.
The Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 created the following main changes:
- councils must assess and agree a personalised plan (called an Inclusion Plan in Newcastle) for all eligible people who are at risk of homelessness within 56 days that covers:
- the circumstances that caused the risk of homelessness
- the housing needs of the person, and what support would be necessary for them to be able to have and retain suitable accommodation
- councils must provide tailored information and advice for groups they consider more likely to be at risk of homelessness (our information sheets are available here)
- councils must take reasonable steps to relieve homelessness
- people applying for assistance are expected to cooperate with the council
- councils must establish a system for the acceptance of referrals from public agencies to work with those at risk of homelessness (see ‘duty to refer’ below)
In Newcastle we responded to the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 by building on our Active Inclusion Newcastle partnership approach to making the prevention of homelessness everyone’s business and a culture of supporting all residents to have a stable life: somewhere to live, an income, financial inclusion and employment opportunities.
Duty to refer
As of 1 October 2018, the Homelessness Reduction Act introduced a new requirement on specified public authorities in England to notify councils of service users they think may be homeless or threatened with becoming homeless.
In Newcastle the duty to refer supplements, rather than replacing, our existing Active Inclusion Newcastle partnerships and protocols, like the Sustaining Tenancies Guidance, which was the foundation for the reduction in Your Homes Newcastle evictions, and our Hospital Discharge Protocol, which has helped to ensure that no one becomes homeless as a result of leaving hospital. Similarly, partners should continue to use the Newcastle Gateway, as they have since 2010, to directly refer to accommodation and support services. You can read more about our approach to duty to refer here (pdf 370Kb)
To make a referral to Newcastle City Council:
• complete our referral form and email it to email@example.com, or
• phone us on 0191 277 1050 (Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 12 noon and 1pm to 4.30pm)
We aim to respond to referrals within one to three working days. We will contact the client directly using the information you have sent us. The above email address should not be used if the client has nowhere to stay that night or is likely to become homeless within the next 48 hours. If that is the case, you should contact the Housing Advice Centre directly.
Our Homelessness Strategy
- Newcastle's Homelessness Strategy 2014-19 (full strategy) (pdf, 729kb)
- Newcastle's Homelessness Strategy 2014-19 (executive summary) (pdf, 254kb)
- Newcastle's Homelessness Strategy 2014-19 (two page summary) (pdf, 224kb)
- Newcastle’s Homelessness Strategy 2014-19 – Action Plan (Quarter 4, 2018-19 update) (272 kb)
• Sustaining Tenancies Guidance (pdf 540 kb)
• Moving on from supported housing in Newcastle: A Move On Protocol for Supported Housing Providers (pdf 342kb)
• Preventing evictions from supported housing in Newcastle : An Eviction Protocol for Supported Housing Providers (pdf, 542Kb)
• Hospital Discharge and Homelessness Prevention Protocol (pdf 395kb) and Information sheet on housing and hospital discharge (pdf, 224kb)
• Newcastle Supported Accommodation Drug Management Protocol (pdf, 445kb)
• Prohibition Orders Protocol (pdf,333kb)
• Clean Homes Protocol (pdf 199kb)
Our spectrum of advice
We seek to make the best use of the limited face to face specialist advice services in Newcastle by helping other non-specialist services to prevent and respond to financial exclusion and the risk of homelessness. This means moving from signposting to proportionate responses in which all partners can play a role.
To help us in with this we have developed the following spectrum of advice. This describes three broad tiers (general information, general advice and specialist advice) and acts as a guide to help us to better understand where organisations fit into our provision in Newcastle and what support they need to do this. The support to services and organisations includes the resources described on this page.
• Spectrum of advice: Housing and homelessness (pdf, 101kb)
To see our spectrums of advice for financial inclusion, visit our money advice information for professionals page.
To complement our spectrum of advice we hold quarterly 'Introduction to Housing and Homelessness in Newcastle' training sessions for those working in tier 1 and 2. These sessions offer a basic overview of homelessness legislation, an explanation of the different kinds of housing tenure and the rules that govern them, how to apply for social housing, and how to query and challenge housing and homelessness decisions. We also cover practical information about the role of the Housing Advice Centre and the policies and procedures that we and partners in Newcastle follow to prevent homelessness.
Training sessions planned for 2020 are:
- Thursday 23 January 2020
- Thursday 23 April 2020
- Thursday 23 July 2020
How to access our training:
Newcastle City Council staff
Access the training by logging into the Learning Management System (LMS). This is done by clicking the ‘LMS’ button, found in the top right of the intranet screen.
Non Newcastle City Council staff
Click this link to sign up.
It’s better to right click and choose ‘Open in new window’ so you continue to view these instructions
- If you already have an account, click the 'All other users' square
- If it's your first time here, you will need to create a new account by clicking on the 'Support & Login Options' below which reveals simple instructions, then click: 'create an account'
If you have any problems, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Once you have access to LMS, to find our training click 'job related' then 'Active Inclusion'
For information on training available on welfare benefits and budgeting and debt advice, visit the Welfare rights and money advice information for professionals and volunteers page.
‘Trigger point conversation’ (information sheet)
We have an information sheet to support you to have a conversation with residents about housing issues:
• Housing and homelessness prevention (pdf, 252kb)
Information sheets on benefits, debt and money management, financial inclusion and employment support are available on our Welfare rights and money advice information for professionals and volunteers page.
Our evidence base
- Homelessness Prevention in Newcastle: Examining the role of the ‘local state’ in the context of austerity and welfare reforms (2019) – executive summary (pdf, 510kb)
- Homelessness Prevention in Newcastle: Examining the role of the ‘local state’ in the context of austerity and welfare reforms (2019) – full report (pdf 3.5mb)
- Newcastle's Homelessness Review 2013 (pdf, 526kb)
- Evaluating Homelessness Prevention in Newcastle (2011) (executive summary) (pdf, 84Kb)
- Evaluating Homelessness Prevention in Newcastle (2011) (full report) (pdf, 455kb)
- Evaluation of Newcastle's 'Cooperative' Approach to the Prevention and Management of Homelessness in Light of Changing Government Policy (2013) (executive summary) (pdf, 371kb)
- Evaluation of Newcastle's 'Cooperative' Approach to the Prevention and Management of Homelessness in Light of Changing Government Policy (2013) (full report) (pdf, 1.48mb)
- Impact of the Bedroom Tax in Walker: qualitative interview study and assessment of the Your Homes Newcastle pilot intervention (2015) (full report) (pdf 1.02mb)
- Evidence submitted by Newcastle City Council to the Communities and Local Government Committee's Inquiry into Homelessness (February 2016) (pdf 236kb)
If you have any questions about any of these documents, or would like more information, email the Active Inclusion Newcastle Unit at email@example.com.
Did you know?
Active Inclusion Newcastle sends out a weekly email which includes information and news items on issues related to homelessness prevention and financial inclusion, including future dates of partnership meetings and other items of interest.
If you want to subscribe please email firstname.lastname@example.org
We hold Homelessness Prevention Forum meetings on a quarterly basis, the remaining date for 2019 is :
- Wednesday 11 December
For more information please contact email@example.com or telephone 0191 277 1707
Need more information?
If you have any questions about any of these documents, or would like more information about anything listed you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can call 0191 277 1707