Gold Standard for Homelessness
On Tuesday 27 November officers gave Cabinet members an update on the significant progress made this year on Mole Valley District Council's (MVDC) five-year Homelessness Strategy.
A key success has been to achieve National Practitioner Support Service (NPSS) Gold Standard for Homelessness. NPSS supports local authorities to deliver early intervention and prevention-focused housing options services.
The team completed ten evidence-based challenges and achieved a high score of 72% in the peer review. This is a considerable accolade, as only 16 local authorities have achieved the accreditation. It demonstrates MVDC's commitment to prevent homelessness, customer care and best practice.
Another notable achievement is the reduction in the number of families placed in bed and breakfast accommodation. In the last year, no families have had to stay in this type of accommodation for more than six weeks.
MVDC has also increased its number of emergency accommodation units that temporarily house homeless families. Two new self-contained properties have been acquired to increase MVDC's stock for homeless households, which now totals 29.
MVDC has also been enhancing and improving its housing service through Government grants received from implementing the Homelessness Reduction Act. Two new job roles have been created: a Housing Options Officer to enhance the housing advice service and a Housing Intelligence Officer to detect housing fraud. There is also a proposal to adapt the service to provide money and budgeting advice to those facing homelessness and assist clients affected by Universal Credit.
Councillor Chris Hunt, Cabinet Member for Planning Services and Housing, said: "Since the current strategy took effect in 2015, we have helped 137 households access accommodation within the private rented sector through the HomeChoice Plus rent deposit bond scheme.
"Currently there are 150 households living in the private rented sector who have been supported through the scheme and 62 have been since April 2017. Furthermore, 40 new affordable homes were completed in 2017/18. We're extremely pleased with our progress, but won't be resting on our laurels. We will continue to carry out the actions set out in our strategy as we work hard to help some of the most vulnerable people in our district."
Find out more about housing in Mole Valley at www.molevalley.gov.uk/housing.