Latest News/Updates from Members

September 2014

Stonepillow’s new Restore Arun opens in Littlehampton on Tuesday 9th September 2014. This project gives clients the proper training in the recycling of donated furniture and benefits the whole community, providing a source of high-quality, affordable furniture and white goods to buy through the charity’s Restore outlets in Chichester and Littlehampton. Read more…

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Arun District Council’s Housing Allocation Scheme was reviewed in September 2012 in the light of the new powers given to local authorities by the Localism Act 2011. When the new Allocations Scheme was implemented with effect from January 2013, the Council made a commitment to review the scheme again after a year in order to make any required changes and clarifications. The review has taken place and changes are detailed in the consultation document which can be viewed here. If you have any comments about the scheme please email by 5pm on Friday 26th September 2014.

April 2014

Homeless Link is looking for delivery partners for a new Digital Inclusion project. They are looking for innovative ways to inspire people who are homeless to gain the basic skills they need to go online. They want to work with organisations with an excellent track record of engaging with their most excluded clients, and which have a proven capacity to deliver complex projects. For more information please visit their website.

Sanctuary Supported Living – 19 Linden Road, Bognor Regis, PO21 2AJ
The scheme at Linden Road provides a service for vulnerable and disadvantaged young people between the ages of 16 and 25, currently housing 10 residents. Residents stay for a maximum of 2 years and agree to receiving support in key areas, to further their personal and professional development.
Support is tailored to each individual, empowering their clients/residents to gain the confidence and life skills they need to realise their full potential and build the foundations for independent living.
Linden Road also has emergency accommodation that accommodates an individual for a period of up to 2 weeks. Facilitation of this involves working in partnership with the Prevention of Youth Homelessness West Sussex County Council.
Please contact Kathryn Benson – Local Services Manager or Chris Peckett – Project Worker for further information on 01243 861831 / Kathryn.benson@sanctuary-housing.co.uk / Chris.Peckett@sanctuary-housing.co.uk
Operational Policy Linden Rd Bognor Regis
Application Form

Stop Loan Sharks
Do you provide advice specifically around private rented accommodation?
Do you work with vulnerable private rented tenants, or those going into this sector?
Are you keen to reach private rented tenants to promote your service/advice?
Do you have some good practice to share in approaching this area?

The Illegal Money Lending Team are keen to do some targeted work aimed at private rented tenants – and we’d love to work with partners to achieve this. Are you keen?

Please reply and let me know; if you need some extra budget to help, please see attached a form to apply for some money from us!
Stop Loan Sharks – Funding available

Homeless Link – Sarah Gorton

Information is now available regarding changes to exempt accommodation and also a new funding opportunity for organisations working with vulnerable homeless young people.
Report

Summary of the new Housing Benefit Rules for EEA Migrants. From Tuesday April 1st 2014, new rules will come in which restrict EEA migrants’ access to housing benefit.
The briefing below explains what these changes mean and how they will affect both new and existing claimants.
Housing Benefit Changes Explained from 010414

February 2014

CAB – Philippa Owen

Homeless activity in Arun  Chichester CAB 2014 so far:

Of a total of 1026 first interviews at Chichester, Littlehampton and Bognor in January to date 14% (142) involved housing queries, 4% (43) included issues of homeless in some form or other and 4 were signposted to Glenlogie. One client returned as there were no spaces on the programme so they were referred to ADC homelessness team. The Glenlogie facility has been of benefit to a number of our clients, however, there appears to be more demand for beds than places available and we do see clients who are not prepared to enter into the 28 day programme and a small number who make a lifestyle choice.

ADC Benefits – Sarah Fryer

The benefits section now has a physical presence in the Bognor Regis Town Hall. From Monday 3 February we have 2 Customer Service Officers (CSO’s) in a ground floor office who will see benefits customers and aim to deal with their enquiry and update claims face to face – the same as the service offered in Littlehampton. Unfortunately there isn’t the space in reception for the CSO’s to sit but once the ticketing system is working properly people will take a ticket and be called into the benefits office to see an “expert” who can offer advice and amend their claim.

We have 2 new benefits assessors starting 3 March 2013 replacing employees who have left. There will be weeks/months of training before we see the real benefits of these additional team members.

Shelter – Tim Nightingale

Since the last meeting, Shelter has continued to work on housing advice and training in West Sussex under funding from the Legal aid Agency (“LAA”), Shelter and the Big Lottery Fund. In all of our projects we work closely with the Citizens Advice Bureau – Shelter staff are co-located within CAB offices, in Crawley, Worthing and Bognor Regis. We try wherever possible to make sure our clients are able to access a full range of advice services.

We have six full time advisors and two solicitors working under LAA funding – mostly from our Crawley office, although we are able to take referrals from elsewhere in the County (one of the advisors is based mainly in Worthing). As well as housing law, this team can cover Community Care cases. For both areas of law this is subject to clients qualifying for LAA funding. For Legal Help assistance funding dictates that we must see the clients fact to face at our Crawley or Worthing offices. The Legal Aid team also run the court help desks at Chichester, Horsham and Worthing County Courts on possession days and under this scheme they are able to give free advice and advocacy to anybody who needs it on the day. This service is funded by the LAA but is available to any defendant as it is not subject to means testing.

In Worthing and Adur, and in Arun and Chichester we have partnership projects which are funded by the Big Lottery and supplemented by Shelter’s charity income. The project in Worthing and Adur comprises a housing advisor taking on specialist housing cases.

The project in Arun and Chichester employs a housing advisor, Tim Nightingale, who is part of a specialist training team (with partners Arun and Chichester CAB and West Sussex Age UK) with experience in debt, welfare benefits, employment, housing and home visiting. The project is aimed principally at up-skilling volunteers from the partner agencies in these subjects to enable advice in these areas to reach a much larger client audience. The specialists on the training team each also undertake a percentage of specialist casework involving the more complex cases. An advice assistant Lianne Foulkes works to support both Big Lottery projects, her post being funded from Shelter’s charitable income.

Referrals for Shelter’s Legal Aid services in West Sussex can be made through 0344 515 1749. However because of the need for LAA clients to come to a face to face interview in Worthing or Crawley, it is likely to be more appropriate to refer potential clients in Arun and Chichester to their local CAB in the first instance who will assess them and determine the most appropriate route. Referrals to our other projects would normally come through the CAB.

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