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National Homeless Advice Service

NHAS Autumn Roadshow 2019 Summary

Posted by natalie_pearson November 04, 2019

In Autumn 2019 the NHAS delivered three roadshows, in Liverpool, Newcastle and London, attended by over 160 delegates. The roadshows are an opportunity to bring together local authorities, public authorities, advice agencies and local citizens advice to learn, network and share good practice.

Each roadshow featured a Legal Update by John Gallagher, Shelter’s Principal Solicitor. This Update touched on the following;

  • The Samuels v Birmingham City Council case
  • The Homes Act 2018
  • The Tenant Fees Act
  • The consultation paper ‘A new deal for renting’

Round table discussions followed the Legal Update. This was a chance for delegates from a mix of organisations to feedback to MHCLG the issues, best practice and ideas that they have encountered in their roles. Some themes that came up included;

  • NHAS services used by a wide range of delegates who attended
  • Organisations are working with partners to help break down barriers in securing homes (for example working with the DWP and hospital discharge teams)
  • Applicants have a limited understanding of the homeless application process
  • Information received from those with a duty to refer can be too basic
  • The admin required for the HRA is too much and takes staff away from face-to-face time with clients

Richard Lee, NHAS trainer, delivered an overview of the Tenant Fees Act 2019 which included;

  • Background on the Act
  • When the legislation applies and who it applies to
  • Key provisions of the Act
  • Enforcement and penalties against landlords and agents
  • Options for the tenant if the landlord or agent breaches the legislation

At the Liverpool Roadshow Stuart Robinson, Strategic Homelessness Reduction Co-ordinator, for Universal Credit North prompted discussion among the group around the perceived barriers to claiming benefits for homeless customers. Stuart used an interactive app, Mentimeter, to take questions from the group.

In Newcastle Aidan Oswell from Newcastle City Council explained the concept of the Rough Sleeping Learning Framework and details of the strategy: Making It Everyone’s Business To End Rough Sleeping In Newcastle By 2022.

At the London Roadshow Daniel Ferlance & Jerome Duffy from Southwark Council delivered presentations on PRS Prevention & Relief. Daniel presented Southwark’s Homelessness Strategy 2018-22. Jerome outlined what Southwark have done in terms of prevention and relief. The session was rounded off with delegates sharing good practice in supporting PRS.

Following our roadshows we send out a feedback survey to delegates. Below are some comments from the survey;

“Good practice and some interesting discussion with Southwark Council.”
“The Tenant Fees Act presentation was really useful, comprehensive and taught me a lot.”
“John Gallagher’s update was fantastic - very useful information and relevant case law, well delivered and thoughtfully explained.”