Issue - meetings
Rough Sleeper Initiative
Mr John Littlemore, Head of Housing and Community Services, addressed the Committee on the topic of Rough Sleeping Initiatives. Mr Littlemore stated that rough sleepers were a small client group who were difficult to engage with and not likely to respond to the requirements of the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017. The report therefore outlined new ways of working to assist this client group.
Following questions from the Committee, Mr Littlemore explained that:
· Relief Lite addressed a key criticism of the Homelessness Reduction Act; the bureaucracy associated with the process. Relief Lite therefore flexed the legislation to meet the needs of a small, specific client group of approximately 20 individuals. There was a risk that Relief Lite did not provide paperwork to the clients per the legislation, however, due to the nature of this client group this was unlikely to be an issue.
· Guidance had been sought regarding the legal risk that was presented by Relief Lite. Using this guidance, it was judged that the risk was minimal, as the approach was not contradictory to the intention of the legislation.
· A quarterly update was to be provided to the Committee to ensure that Members were adequately updated on the level of risk associated with the work.
· A workshop for Members, led by operational staff, was to be arranged to describe the customer journey through the service. This was to be supported by job shadowing, subject to confidentiality and consent being agreed where appropriate.
1) That the rough sleeping initiatives in Section 1 of the report be noted.
2) That the new ways of working (outlined in Section 2 of the report) regarding Eligibility, Relief Lite and the Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) be agreed.