Brighton and Hove City Council Sleeping Rough Strategy 2016

This is the cities answer to tackling rough sleeping in Brighton and Hove.

The City’s Vision

People sleeping rough die younger than the general population yet the cost of preventing rough sleeping or supporting someone back into independence is much less than the cost to the individual and society than a life on the streets. Our strategy vision is:

“To make sure no-one has the need to sleep rough

 in Brighton & Hove by 2020”

  The City’s Strategic Priorities

To help us come together as a city and deliver the strategic vision, we have focussed our strategy on five priority areas:

  1. Preventing Homelessness and Rough Sleeping – to provide a consistent message about housing options that helps services prevent homelessness and moves people away from sleeping rough
  2. Rapid Assessment and Reconnection – outreach to assess the needs of people sleeping rough to plan support, and where appropriate, reconnect people with friends, families and support networks, before they are fully immersed in street life
  3. Improving Health – to ensure people sleeping rough are supported by health and social care services that help them to regain their independence
  4. A Safe City – making sure people sleeping rough, residents and visitors are safe and free from intimidation
  5. Pathways to Independence – to support people sleeping rough into regaining their independence
Within these priorities there is an underlying principle that, as a city, whether service commissioner, provider, community group, or individual with the desire to help, we need to work together to provide a consistent message and response to rough sleeping to support people to turn a corner and improve their lives.

You are then requited to answer:

Do you support the city’s revised strategic priorities?

  • Yes
  • No – What is the actual change?

My Response

Point 1 – Sorry to be blunt but all this money wasted on consultations, or 250k developments in Whitehawk for a flat at “affordable rates” or the current emergency housing situation whereby residents are killing themselves is what we face currently.

What we have above are statements that are not measurable. To prevent Homelessness means the system needs to change – if you cant change the system, then you aren’t going to make a difference. Sorry but this is fact!

Point 2. -* NO EMERGENCY HOUSING IN PRIVATE HANDS – 31% of all homeless applications are by those whom were homeless because of privately owned places evicting residents on a nightly licence, Emergency housing, in privitasation of property are creating the problem.

The workers in these slums tell me I should be lucky I have a roof over my head, how dare they! Ive worked all my life, paid into the system all my life, and their is no system left – why is this? because I never paid into a system, I paid a rich people a wage from my own income. My taxes weren’t invested, my taxes paid for interest payments and dodgy deals. FACT!!

Point 2 & 3 – Improving Health: How about allow visitors! – If we had 24 hour supervision with qualified support workers, decent facilities and a secure place to live with a pathway for recovery. – Not the current system.

You want family and friends to support residents but they aren’t allowed to see them in Emergency Housing, in their own place which they need to call home. Do you want to know how to improve health – Give the workers a low cost place to live, which gives them money to spend, money they can spend on the local economy not to tax havens and greedy landlords like Baron Homes or Helgor trading limited.

We need An official handover – None of this ‘sign a form at Bartholomew square and the rest you deal with….ALONE’ – We need set standards agreed – not by government regulation but set by the city, Brighton and Hove residents are progressive we do not adhere to tory rules.

Residents need to fully understand what conditions they are going to live in, I can see why people live on the streets, those who have come out of prision, are basically back in prison in Emergency Housing.

Now WATCH AN EPISODE OF THE OLD PRISONER CELL BLOCK H, REMEMBER THE HALF WAY HOUSES, THIS IS BRIGHTON EMERGENCY HOUSING TODAY IN 2016. This is not enough I am sorry.

Point 3 – Improving health – Well to improve health firstly you need a good diet, IF you can show me a way to live on £2.50 a day with the service charges, council tax, storage charges, bus fares and internet then I will stand corrected – remember residents have a fridge, and a microwave. They need their 7-A-Day – they need minerals, Protein and fibre etc…

5 – A pathway to independence – Independence from what? greedy landlords? any vulnerable person in the private rental sector is 10 times more vulnerable – I will be exposing and setting out plans to really improve conditions in Brighton and Hove, not because I want a career, because I care! I was born here and have seen the devastating effect this system has had on the city since the 1980s and I am done.

The city need a pathway to independence, independence from privatisation, investment in people, investment in homes, investment in real community.

My name is Daniel Harris and I will continue to pursue this plight until people stop dying alone and secluded in squalor and until a council is brave enough like me to stand up for peoples rights, I don’t get paid for this, I am in recovery myself, but I have a conscience.

The only way you can improve things is to get rid of the career officers who are taking ‘back handers’ at lunches paid from tax payers money and those councillors who haven’t got the bottle to really fight for the residents in the city.

I graduated from Whitehawk, one of the most deprived places in the South East – I missed years of school, I am a victim of sexual abuse and I am in recovery for a drug addiction.

People like me know the truth and have lived it, I know what we need. We need specifics not the above. Sorry!

What do you think of this as the 5 main points? do you think this will end street homelessness? – remember they intend on fining beggars £50 on the spot – £50 quid they can pocket. another fine another revenue stream all whilst private companies profit and those homeless are exploited until they give up and kill themselves or they move abroad with the other 5 million who have HAD ENOUGH!

FACT SINCE NOVEMBER 2015 4 ADULTS HAVE COMMITTED SUICIDE, 2 IN 1 MONTH!  

People are killing themselves because they feel alone, the Samaritans is not the answer, give them hope, give them a vehicle to improve and move on, if you leave them no hope they die. 

More detail from the council on the above. Its just words I am telling you, they have no real solution.

Priority 1: Prevent Homelessness and Rough Sleeping

To provide a consistent message about housing options that helps services prevent homelessness and moves people away from sleeping rough

As a city, we need to manage people’s expectations about the availability of housing. Brighton & Hove is an expensive place to live and at the same time wages are relatively low making housing affordability a challenge for many. There are approximately, 23,000 households on the housing register, with 1,500 in temporary accommodation and only around 700 properties becoming available each year.

Average rents are above housing benefit limits putting them out of reach of those not working. In September 2015, just two shared properties were available to rent in Brighton & Hove on rightmove.co.uk within the local housing allowance limit for single people under 35 and, for those aged 35 or above, 14 properties were available within the 1 bedroom limit available, mainly bedsits and studio flats.

Many single homeless households do not fall into a priority need category and hence there is no statutory duty for the council to provide housing under Part 7 of the Housing Act 1996. For those where there is not a housing duty, the chance of someone being offered social housing is remote because of the extremely high demand against a very small supply.

The Homelessness Strategy 2014 seeks to link into a broader ‘prevention agenda’ to provide advice and assistance to any resident in danger of losing their home. We want to minimise rough sleeping for those who we cannot provide accommodation for and to look at the wider impacts homelessness can have, such as deterioration in mental health, risk of suicide, substance misuse, offending and increased hospital admission. This also minimises the impact on more costly crisis services provided by the council and health services.

To prevent homelessness, the city will:

  • Goal 1: Develop a consistent citywide approach to housing, health, care and other support to prevent homelessness and rough sleeping
  • Goal 2: Improve housing options for single person households

Goal 1: Develop a consistent citywide approach to preventing homelessness and rough sleeping

Brighton & Hove is fortunate in that it has a caring and tolerant population and many people want to help people sleeping rough through supporting charitable work or personal donations. As a city, we want to make sure that all those seeking to help rough sleepers are doing so in a way that leads to sustainable solutions that help encourage people to engage with services to move away from rough sleeping.

Success in preventing homelessness and entrenchment depends on all service providers promoting the same consistent message, a single offer of support focussed on minimising the risk of those getting into crisis and spending time on the streets.

To make sure this happens, all of the city’s organisations working with homelessness will be brought together to develop a Multi-Agency Protocol. This will build on the strengths of existing partnerships that have developed new ways of working with the street population, tackle health inequalities and prevent repeat homelessness as well as removing duplication through multiple assessments by different providers.

Goal 2: Improve housing options for single person household

The city has a strong record in preventing homelessness or finding alternative accommodation where it has not been possible to sustain people’s accommodation. Services provide advice and assistance, to those where there is not a statutory housing duty, on how to sustain their accommodation including their legal rights to remain in occupation. This often allows people some time to find an alternative home.

A new service called Community Connections, provided by Southdown, will help people to stay in their accommodation by working with landlords and agencies to prevent eviction. A range of support services will be provided including wellbeing and mental health, and practical help to support people settle and sustain new tenancies.

Many landlords do not accept tenants on benefits, and those at risk of homelessness are less likely to have a deposit, advance rent, fees or a guarantor. Even if a home is available, there is a gap in providing people with start up cost for private sector tenancies. The current rent deposit assistance is aimed at preventing homelessness where there is a statutory duty to assist. Any change to this requires funding and resources before this could be extended to people were there was no statutory duty.

The council works with a wide range of agencies such as Brighton Housing Trust and the YMCA DownsLink Group to sustain accommodation or source alternatives. Incentives and support for private landlords will help increase the supply of low cost rented housing without high set up costs or guarantors. Landlords will often keep good tenants at lower rent rather than maximise rental values to unknown tenants. The council also works with the prison service and probation to source accommodation for people leaving the criminal justice system who are at particular risk of rough sleeping. Joint work with health and social care through thePathway Plus project supports people leaving hospital to prevent them from being discharged onto the street.

The city needs to be open to innovative solutions to provide temporary affordable homes for single people and utilise initiatives, such as the credit union to provide a way for people to save money to cover the costs of moving on if the need arises. More affordable homes can be found in other parts of the country which may require people to make difficult choices about where they live.

Please refer to pages 19 and 20 of the Draft Rough Sleepers Strategy for the Strategic Action Plan: Priority 1: Preventing Rough Sleeping

2.1

Do you agree with the approach to this priority?

  • Yes
  • No

Q2.2

On a scale of 1 to10 (where 10 is very successful), how successful do you think this approach will be?

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10

Q2.3

What do you think the city could change or do better to achieve this priority?

PLEASE CLICK HERE AND STOP THIS POLICY AND REPLACE WITH A REAL POLICY TO CHANGE THE CITY AND HELP BENEFIT ALL NOT THE RICH WHO HAVE COME HERE AND TAKEN WHAT IS OURS!

ITS OUR CITY, OUR HOME, OUR BRIGHTON!