Met up with a friend who works over in a borough in the East London that is striving to reach Olympian heights. They also work in homelessness, they told me their authority doesn't take homelessness applications from victims of domestic violence. In the main they are just seeking hostel or refuges for them, so they can claim they have prevented homelessness. Is that the sound of the legal profession leaning forward to pull their judicial letters closer to them?
Well its that time of the year that the Department of Communities and Local Government release the quarterly homelessness statistics and without sounding like an anorak about homelessness they do make interesting reading when you take a look at the Local Authority breakdown. I note that looking through the returns for London in particular that firstly it appears that Tower Hamlets return must have been lost in the post, or maybe left on a train. Secondly I'm surprised how many not homeless decisions that Croydon made, 229! I was also astonished by the amount of non-priority that both Ealing and Waltham Forest made 165 and 124, what makes me think they avail themselves of Now Medical in their medical assessments. Though a special mention must be made of Blackpool who made made 357 non-priority decisions whilst making one not homeless decision and 12 itentionality decisions. More surpising is the total of 7,470 applicants in the UK that are recorded as Homeless at home. I thought that homeless at home didn't happen officially.
Please feel free to comment on any of the other statistics that catch your eyes
I have been told by a good source within my office that in the near future our management have decided that all 16/17 year old's who approach as homeless are going to be pushed towards accepting placement with young people projects or foyer projects. Apparently we are accepting too many young people as homeless. Of course the young people won't be given impartial advice. No one will tell them that if they accept and in a couple of years the projects don't have move on accommodation then they will be on there own having to find their own accommodation.
I had a woman in the office today with her two children who was fleeing domestic violence from temporary accommodation. The perpetrator was her husband. She had been admitted to the hospital over the weekend due to the assault she had suffered and the police were involved. Whilst we accommodated the family today, my problem is that the husband who assaulted her will continue to be accommodated in temporary accommodation as he was the person we initially accepted a duty towards, so all we can do is to move him to a smaller property
One of the greatest frustrations I encounter in doing my job is getting Social Services to assist by doing an assessment of a clients needs. Social Services appear to not understand why an assessment is needed if we are providing the client with accommodation. Even my managers (who I have been known to moan about), are frustrated trying to get Social Services to accept their duty. In my view all 16/17 year olds should have an assessment by social services to see what services can be offered to them. Whilst the issued Homelessness strategy in any Authority I've worked paid lip service to joined up working between council departments this just doesn't happen.
Sorry I've not posted for awhile but half term reared its ugly head and little people required attention. I was considering the issue that LA's actually cause people to become benefit reliant when they place people into B&B or into temporary accommodation. Where I work the cost of the temporary accommodation is over £350 per week so therefore those people who are working and find themselves homeless are actually discriminated against and there is no incentive for those on benefits to seek work. I know that housing benefit can be claimed but in my view too little is done to ensure that people are given accommodation that is truely affordable. I wonder what other peoples views are?