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Archive for November, 2008

So the new changes seem to be coming into effect in January. According to some chap at the DWP who I spoke to yesterday (hardly the best source of correct info I know) the 13 week waiting time and increase in the capital limit would only apply to new claimants from January onwards.

If this is correct then one wonders if some clients might be better off trying to do everything they can (ie borrow from friends and family) to not apply for IS or JSA till January when they will only have to wait 13 weeks if they think they will be on such benefits for some time.

As benefits generally confuse me I’ve probably got something wrong.

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Clan News

Seems the LA’s and BC’s and CC’s involved have all agreed, in principle, to the LSC’s proposal for a CLAN in West Sussex.

In no particular order let the consultation, political games, media storm,tendering, bidding wars commence.

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Bit slack

Apologies for being slack and not posting much but House is trying to get to grips with being a team leader and managing the day to day running of a housing advice centre. All jolly interesting if not rather knackering.

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New matters?

Could someone be so kind as to answer some questions. This comes from the LSC’s website.

Up to £13 million will be available to fund extra cases

  • 50,000 cases of debt help
  • 20,000 cases of housing help

These increases will be made either by recycling funding or by making additional money available to providers in areas not currently experiencing such high demand or by making additional cases available in areas of greatest need. All extra work will be paid for from within existing LSC budgets.

1.  How does one recycle funding?

2. If the extra work is paid for from within existing LSC budgets then where does the ‘extra’ £13 million come from?  Would this be from some sort of contingency fund or cutting /savings from other areas?

3. Why is additional money being made available to areas NOT currently experiencing such high demand?

4. Has anyone been granted any of these new matters yet?

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No more 33 days?

A Local Authority Homelessness manager told me the other day that they had been instructed by some government official that LA’s should now ignore the 33 days working days to complete enquiries guideline as per 6.16of the CoG. The idea is that this should now enable LA’s to ‘prevent’ more homelessness by sticking people into AST’s before completing enquiries.

I don’t think they were lying as they are leaving their job soon and going into another profession entirely so didn’t have a reason to make it up!

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An apology.

House apologises for posting his thought for the day. He hadn’t noticed that our noble government has pledged £200 million to end rough sleeping once and for all.

This will undoubtedly include measures to stop the widespread gatekeeping rife amoungst Local Authorities. Local Authorities will now carefully consider whether or not the street homeless people who have approached them for assistance with housing have a priority need for accommodation. This will undoubtedly mean that many of the vulnerable street homeless are now given the accommodation that they want.

Oh right, er no it doesn’t it seems. it seems rent deposits are for assured shorthold tenancies and the excellent long lasting security of tenure they bring are the way to go. I’m sure considerate Landlords will be knocking down the doors of their LA.

The DCLG state that there are 483 rough sleepers across the Country on any one night. The DCLG’s figures are listed here.

The DCLG’s figures can only be described as a load of bollocks.

For example where I work isn’t even listed at all and I know of at least 10 rough sleepers. My Local Hostel can name at least 20 people who sleep rough on any one night and that’s only in my little town.

For the DCLG to say there are 483 rough sleepers on any one night is insulting.

Even in areas that the Counts are reported then as the counters only count people actually lying down and sleeping and don’t go anywhere that might be considered dangerous the figures are likely to underestimate the actual amount.

For example this article shows that 206 people were sleeping rough in the London Borough of Westminister compared to the official count of 111. Am I shocked that an ‘official’ count is significantly lower than another non official count, er no!

This from Shelter explains things a bit more politely!

Whilst I don’t doubt that Charities do excellent work in helping those who are street homeless one can only wonder at the effectiveness of packages announced by a department that spouts such rubbish and apparently has no desire to tackle the gatekeeping which may have lead to many of the street homeless to remain street homeless.

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It certainly makes House wonder when no homeless approach is taken from a person who has been homeless for 2 years sleeping in a car having approached a Local Authority 6+ times for help (a Local Authority who even write on their file that the person is homeless).

House even wonders if Local Authority housing officers (i was going to call them homelessness officers but they don’t seem to exist anymore) are even taught or reminded that an approach must be taken if they have reason to believe a person may be homeless or threatened with homelessness in 28 days.

Grr.

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