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Webinar: Use your data effectively to identify and prevent vulnerability


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Webinar: Use your data effectively to identify and prevent vulnerability

Listen back to hear guest speaker Chris Parker, Newcastle City Council, in conversation with Deven Ghelani, Policy in Practice. They discuss how Newcastle's approach to tackling homelessness using smart analysis of their existing household level data sets, and how they're identifying people who are at risk of homelessness way before the new 56 days required by the Homelessness Reduction Act.

We take a look at Newcastle's LIFT Dashboard, the tool we've built to interrogate and visusalise their data.

Following on from our summer Leading Lights Network event at the House of Lords with Lord Bird, founder of the Big Issue, we continue the conversation about how to prevent households from falling in to crisis. Join us to hear frontline stories of creative uses of public data that tackle vulnerability early, and in a proven sustainable way.

For more information contact, email or call 0330 088 9242.

Published in: Data & Analytics
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Webinar: Use your data effectively to identify and prevent vulnerability

  2. 2. HOUSEKEEPING • Audio check • Please ask questions • Polls and a survey • Finish by 11:30
  3. 3. We make the welfare system simple to understand, so that people can make the decisions that are right for them
  4. 4. SPEAKERS Deven Ghelani Policy in Practice Chris Parker Newcastle City Council
  5. 5. AGENDA • The Homelessness Reduction Act: Policy background • Experiences of Newcastle City Council • A look at Newcastle’s LIFT Dashboard • How other councils have approached prevention • Q&A
  7. 7. HOMELESSNESS CAN HAPPEN TO ANYONE Mary Holden, Big Issue vendor, Westminster
  8. 8. KEY MESSAGES FROM MARY • Anybody could end up homeless. Consider your own financial situation – how long could anybody retain a home without work? • Agencies need to be joined up. Mary would have welcomed support at the right time, but wasn’t offered any and couldn’t find one point for in-depth advice. • There needs to be a better council response. to threatened homelessness. Her rent support now costs twice as much as support in her home. • Every effort should be made to keep people in their home. Once a person is homeless the lack of an address, lack of possessions, mental health pressures etc mean that accessing services / work is much harder. • Challenge your perceptions. Mary is articulate, and ensures she is always clean and well dressed - a challenge for any homeless person. • How many other people are in this situation? What changes could be made to the support system to ensure vulnerable people engage?
  9. 9. 999 Poll: what are the biggest drivers of homelessness in your area?
  10. 10. The triggers that immediately precede a homelessness application. Causes include: • An increase in demand for affordable homes, not matched by supply • Personal factors that can cause homelessness • People struggling include prison leavers, people with mental health issues, young people • What drives resilience? THE DRIVERS OF HOMELESSNESS
  11. 11. MHCLG: HRA KEY MESSAGES • The HRA should enable people in crisis to be helped earlier. In particular councils have a new duty to single-person households. • LAs and public bodies must help people threatened with homelessness and this needs to be embedded in these bodies. • Many LAs have yet to update their websites or give information to ensure those in crisis know how to access support. • Prior to the Act, LA homelessness focused on ascertaining statutory duty. It should now focus on prevention and support which needs a fundamental culture change.
  12. 12. FOCUS ON PREVENTION • The Homelessness Reduction Act is a step in the right direction but … • Responding two months before someone becomes homeless is still focused on dealing with a crisis • The HRA monitoring framework doesn’t let councils record true prevention, as it falls outside of these 56 days • How can councils take a truly preventative approach?
  13. 13. OVER TO CHRIS
  14. 14. FOCUS ON PREVENTION • The Homelessness Reduction Act is a step in the right direction • but responding 2 months before someone becomes homeless is still focused on dealing with a crisis • The HRA monitoring framework doesn’t let us record true early prevention work as it falls outside of these 56 days • Newcastle’s culture of prevention and partnership working means we seek to prevent as early as possible. We have extended this work through our MHCLG funded Homelessness Prevention Trailblazer • We’ve established a multidisciplinary team, which incorporates a housing specialist from our ALMO who manage our council housing stock, a debt advisor and a welfare rights advisor from Newcastle City Council, and a Work Coach on loan from the DWP
  15. 15. PROACTIVE MULTI-DISCIPLINARY TEAM • This team works proactively to ‘case find’, rather than reactively by taking referrals. • They do this by using data to identify residents who are likely to be at risk of homelessness in the future, before collating data across various databases in order to determine an individualised approach for that household. • We don’t want to rely on self-identification, particularly when we have a wealth of information available on residents that can tell us who would benefit from proactive targeted advice and support • We reach out to residents rather than waiting for them to present in crisis
  16. 16. 1. WORKING WITH RESIDENTS EARLY • Lesson 1: many residents are already in very challenging circumstances • “I find it very depressing, my money just about covers the bills and that's all” • “I get anxious, I'm on a low income and have a lot of payments to make” • “I feel as though I live from one benefit payment to another, the money does not go far” • “I feel that I have no control over anything and sometimes just ignore everything as a way of coping” • “If I don't get DHP again I will pay the shortfall in my rent. I have done this before and it is a struggle. It also means that children do not get to do the activities that they do now, which upsets me”
  17. 17. 2. WORKING WITH RESIDENTS EARLY • Lesson 2: as you go earlier, you go broader. • This relates to the Prime Minister’s original aim of ‘identifying and tackling the underlying issues’ that lead to homelessness when she launched the Homelessness Prevention programme • People’s housing, financial, employment, mental health, or any other needs cannot be considered by different services working in isolation, and should not be segmented into fragmented databases, if we wish to go beyond mitigation to finding sustainable solutions for residents
  18. 18. HOW WE’VE INFORMED OURSELVES • Although we are in the early stages of using it, the Policy in Practice LIFT Dashboard lets us draw together previously disparate databases into one easily accessible platform. • We can sort, segment, prioritise and approach residents who are at greater risk of homelessness • So far, much of our truly early prevention work has focused on tenants in social housing. In Newcastle, we have maintained a strong stock of council housing of around 27,000 units. • We now know more about these residents and can tie them into services more easily
  19. 19. IDENTIFYING PRS HOUSEHOLDS AT RISK • We’re currently using the LIFT Dashboard to target private rented tenants as we know end of an AST is the main reason people become homeless. • We’re further segmenting these by residents who have council tax arrears, as we know this is often an indication of risk more broadly, as well as those categorised as at risk by Policy in Practice’s financial resilience measure • This allows us to target support to these residents without time being wasted trying to align data from those disparate databases I mentioned earlier
  20. 20. THE BUSINESS CASE FOR PREVENTION • Austerity programme reduced Newcastle CC’s budget by £283 million by 2020 • Welfare reforms reduced our resident’s income by £129 million by 2022 - 23 • We cannot afford to waste any resources and our residents can’t afford for us to do this either. Their budgets are often teetering on fine margins and in many cases, without anything more than the essentials, their outgoings now exceed their income • We see targeted prevention work as the best way to stop residents from falling into financial vulnerability and homelessness. • However, tackling the poverty that causes this financial vulnerability requires a more structural and national approach
  22. 22. 232323 Poll: What do you need to tackle homelessness in your area?
  24. 24. LB SOUTHWARK: IAN SWIFT • LB Southwark implemented the Act a year early with great success. • They have halved the number of people needing statutory re-housing, saving £8,200 for 676 cases. They no longer have any households in B&Bs and doubled the number of preventative outcomes. • Senior buy-in helps: Cabinet Member and Strategic Director • Data is important: Are support or prevention agencies accessing the correct data to act on these risks? • Culture is important: make sure your team is committed to a customer first approach & don’t underestimate the resources required for change. • The government approach has changed focus from response to prevention.
  25. 25. LUTON’S APPROACH TO PREVENTION • Luton Borough Council is committed to adopting a preventative approach across the council. • They have a team that works proactively to ‘case find’, rather than act solely reactively by taking referrals. “When we don’t avoid it not only is it expensive but the cost to individuals is considerable. That means that the interventions become less effective and engagement much harder. It makes no sense at all for us to wait until someone is at a point of crisis.” Nikki Middleton, Customer Services Manager
  27. 27. LUTON’S BIGGEST CHALLENGE • LAs hold incredibly rich data. Most low-income households will have already presented to the authority. Councils need to draw this information together from different departments and amalgamate it to allow early intervention. “We know this works; we know the level of need and demand in our town; but we can’t resource the support we know we need to provide, even though we know that’s going to save us, DWP, other central government departments and other public sector departments money in the long term. It’s cost effective and we still can’t make the case to find the resources now,” • Luton uses the administrative data it collects when supporting its 20,000 low income households to provide proactive help. Real, proper intervention is when you offer preventative support before someone presents to you, asking for help.
  28. 28. QUESTIONS
  29. 29. NEXT STEPS Download The LIFT Dashboard flyer Download Universal Credit Roadmap Short survey: • We value your feedback • Ask questions or clarifications • Take another look at a LIFT Dashboard • Request briefing note from the LIFT User Group • Register interest in an event on Tues 23 October, Leeds, with MHCLG and DWP
  30. 30. THANK YOU 0330 088 9242