Information for those in housing need
SHPS is a new service funded by Local Authorities to support you in resolving your housing need.
We work with all single people aged 18 and over who are facing a housing issue that could see the end of their accommodation, such as having been issued with a notice seeking possession; or homeless, potentially sleeping on a friends sofa or as a result of a relationship breakdown.
We will support you in the following ways:
Personal Housing Plan
We will work with you to develop a Personal Housing Plan. This plan identifies actions you need to take to resolve your housing need. It also identifies actions your named worker needs to complete to support you to help you resolve your housing need. This plan is agreed and signed off at your first meeting with the SHPS team
You are expected to take responsibility for actions you agree to and complete them within timescales set. Actions could be talking to your current landlord to see if they would be willing to agree to an arrears payment plan to stop you from becoming homeless; or committing to engaging with specialist agencies referred to such as employment support services. Your named worker is also expected to take responsibility and complete their agreed actions within timescales too.
Your Personal Housing Plan is a document that will be updated regularly as actions are achieved. It will be complete when your housing need is resolved.
Support with accommodation
The SHPS team will help you work with your current landlord where possible to stop you from becoming homeless. This may include you developing a new arrears payment plan or some other intervention.
If you need to access new accommodation we will help you to identify this. We work with private landlords to provide accommodation with rent within your affordability. The accommodation you are able to access will be different dependent on your age and employment / benefit status. For example if you are under 35 in the majority of cases you will only be eligible for a room in shared accommodation unless you meet the exemption criteria set by government (staff can advise you of this).
Despite our support, access to private rented accommodation is difficult with limited properties available. You will need to be flexible in the areas you are willing to live and in the type of accommodation you are willing to accept. We are not able to offer you numerous viewings until you get the perfect property. You need to be aware of this and manage your expectations around the type of property and accommodation you will be able to access.
Why work with SHPS
We get to know you and understand your needs, allocating you a named staff member to work with.
We will build relationships with landlords to be able to access properties to meet your needs, ensuring that all tenancies issues are for a minimum 12 month period and are affordable and in line with what Housing Benefit will cover.
We will work with you to enable you to sustain current accommodation and resolve outstanding issues where possible.
Staff know the welfare benefit system and will be able to support you around your benefit entitlement, maximising your income where possible.
We can attend viewings of properties with you and will ensure you understand your rights and responsibilities as well as those of the landlords before signing up to a tenancy.
SHPS have working agreements with local Housing Benefits so have direct access to them in order to be able to identify payment issues and provide up to date information to you, enabling problems to be resolved quickly.
We will work with you to ensure that Housing Benefit forms are submitted with all info required to process claims quickly.
We provide ongoing support to you for at least 8 months after homelessness has been prevented or relieved with minimum monthly check ins to ensure no further risk of homelessness.
SHPS are able to signpost and engage additional support services where needed to reduce the likelihood of further issues arising. This includes access to employment services to support you to access work opportunities, increasing your independence and ability to sustain your property.
We are paid for the results we get so will work flexibly to ensure we achieve positive outcomes with you.
What we expect from you
We expect you to work with us and commit to completing actions identified to resolve your housing need.
You will need to be open to moving to a new area as housing is limited and there are not infinite properties available.
Understanding that if you require new accommodation this will be in the private rented sector and that if you have been referred to SHPS, the local Council will not be assisting you in your accommodation search. (You can ask for this decision to be reviewed however).
Commitment to engage with our service and work with us to resolve your housing need.
How to get in touch
All referrals to our service at present are made through your local council. Here your needs will be assessed and you will be referred to a service appropriate to meet your needs. For contact details, please select your council below.