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Welfare Reform on the Web (February 2007): Homelessness - UK

Onward Christian landlords

P. Cunningham

Roof, Jan./Feb. 2008, p. 13

Introduces the innovative approach to re-housing homeless people developed by Green Pastures. This not-for-profit company buys properties, renovates them, furnishes them and lets them to homeless people. On-going, intensive support to tenants is provided by local church communities. The scheme is successful because of the on-going support provided for tenants lacking life skills.

A place to live is not enough

A. Taylor

Community Care, Jan. 24th 2008, p. 16-18

Councils have been side-stepping their responsibility to accommodate young offenders aged 16-17 released from custody with nowhere to stay as children in need under section 20 of the Children Act 1989. Young persons deemed as qualifying for accommodation under section 20 become 'looked after' and are therefore entitled to expensive leaving care services. It is cheaper for councils to treat them as homeless under the Housing Act 1996. A landmark ruling against Sutton Council by the Court of Appeal in Summer 2007 will make it more difficult for local authorities to abdicate their responsibilities to young offenders with no home to go to on leaving custody.

Protecting young people from homelessness and escalating drug and alcohol use

C. Day and C. Paul

Housing, Care and Support, vol. 10, Nov. 2007, p. 15-22

This article argues that young people, unlike adults, have not yet established set patterns of behaviour, and this offers a chance to intervene to prevent a housing crisis. Young people's misuse of drugs and alcohol is in the main symptomatic of other problems for which they need support. This support can be most effectively offered by services that are holistic and integrated, and which deal first with emotional and family needs while also addressing personal development and vocational training. These interventions need to begin well before current housing crisis points around age 16 or 17.

Tackling the housing needs of drug users: safer for the user, safer for the community

S. McKeown

Housing, Care and Support, vol.10, Nov. 2007, p. 23-26

Drug use and behaviours that may be associated with it (financial problems, challenging behaviour and offending) are common reasons for exclusion or eviction from both general needs and supported housing projects. Moreover, most housing services require drug users to have 'dealt with' or at least stabilised their use before they will be considered. This is often an unrealistic expectation, particularly for the most vulnerable users and may trap them in homelessness. This article calls for partnership working between drug treatment, health, housing, and homeless services, criminal justice and Supporting People in mapping the needs of homeless drug users, and in providing services that meet those needs.

Why are young people still left homeless?

S. Kessler

ChildRight, issue 242, 2007/08, p. 14-16

Legislation and guidance are in place to protect vulnerable homeless children, but local authorities are reluctant to accommodate them, even if this means returning them to a home in which they are subject to domestic violence, or if the child would rather sleep rough than go home. The possible reason for their attitude is cost.

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