Homelessness grant welcomed

We actively work with our partners throughout the year to help prevent and relieve homelessness in the district. We also try to help vulnerable people remain in their own home by providing disabled facility grants, enforcing standards in the private rented sector and by innovative work with NHS partners.

The council was recently singled out for praise by the NHS for our Healthy Homes on Prescription initiative which helps frail residents remain in their own home.

Now WDC has welcomed the news that we will receive £376,332 for 2019/20, allowing the council to continue our homeless prevention and relief work and to plan ahead for future years.

The money comes from the Government’s Flexible Homelessness Support Grant and is ring-fenced for homelessness prevention and relief.

The council received £270,216 for 2018/19.

Cllr Julia Langley, Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “We are committed to preventing and relieving homelessness in line with our new statutory responsibilities contained within the Homelessness Reduction Act. In essence the new Act does not change our approach to tackling homelessness as officers and all of our partners in the housing and homelessness agencies have been trying to prevent and relieve homelessness for a number of years.

“We aim to use this additional funding to further the good practice in this area and as such it is very welcome, providing some certainty to the work we are currently undertaking for future years.” 

Notes:

1 WDC continues to pioneer ways of helping residents with housing issues, and was praised by the NHS recently for its Healthy Homes on Prescription initiative as a good example of a local authority helping frail residents and simultaneously reducing costs to the public purse.

Healthy Homes on Prescription allows medical or social care practitioners to refer patients for simple, fast-tracked housing solutions to support independent living at home. This could include for example a stair lift or central heating system.

By preventing hospital admissions and GP attendances, it is already saving the NHS £53,476 and social care £132,984 annually.

The NHS press release that features Wycombe District Council’s Healthy Homes on Prescription scheme can be found at

https://www.england.nhs.uk/2018/02/englands-top-ae-doctor-says-we-must-seize-once-in-a-generation-opportunity-to-remake-nhs-and-local-government-partnership/

2 The council’s five-year homelessness strategy and action plan is available on our website and can be found at https://www.wycombe.gov.uk/pages/About-the-council/Council-policies/Housing-policy-and-strategy.aspx