8 January 2019

Increasing support for people in temporary and emergency accommodation

Plans to introduce extra support for people in emergency and temporary accommodation are being discussed at the Housing & New Homes Committee next week.

The proposal comes in response to the increasing levels of multiple and complex needs experienced by people becoming homeless in the city.

If approved, it will expand the options for supporting vulnerable people in emergency and temporary accommodation currently provided by the council’s two welfare officers.

The additional support will be based around what worked well in the council’s previous housing support service, which came to an end in 2015.

The recommendation is to set the service up for one year initially while looking at alternative options for increasing support in the longer term.

Emergency and temporary accommodation in Brighton & Hove

With around 1,700 households currently living in emergency and temporary accommodation in the city, the demand on the service is extremely high. 

Most are living in longer-term temporary accommodation in good quality houses and flats, and generally need little or no support. 

However, around 400 households are in emergency accommodation, with around 125 of those in accommodation outside the city. Where people are placed depends on the availability at the time they become homeless.

Many of these households require support on a spectrum of intensive help to basic practical support to help them settle in and manage their accommodation. These needs are not necessarily identified as part of the homeless assessment.

Councillor Anne Meadows, chair of the Housing & New Homes Committee, said: “We are seeing a rising level of complex issues in people being made homeless, and without support in place, many are finding it difficult to manage their accommodation.

“We have listened to concerns about the gaps in the service and believe increasing the level of support for households in emergency and temporary accommodation will help residents.”

If agreed, the proposal will go to the Policy, Resources & Growth committee Budget meeting on 14 February for final approval.  

The additional cost for expanding the support is estimated to be around £250,000 a year.

Preventing homelessness

If you’re worried about becoming homeless, get in touch with our Early Intervention Service. It is important to get help and advice at an early stage, so contact us as soon as you can.

The service provides support to anyone experiencing difficulty with their tenancy and at risk of homelessness, and is available to all residents in the city.

By getting involved at a much earlier stage give us more time to work with people to identify the best way to help them avoid homelessness.

Since its launch in 2017, the early intervention service has helped over 260 families avoid becoming homeless. Over 70% of these were ‘priority need’ cases who would otherwise have need to be placed into temporary accommodation. 

Get in touch by emailing earlyintervention@brighton-hove.gov.uk or calling 01273 294400.

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