Preventing homelessness in Havant

Friday, 29 March, 2019

Havant Borough Council helps hundreds of vulnerable people avoid homelessness every year.

During 2017/18, the council worked with more than 1,200 households to prevent homelessness and keep residents off the streets.

By working closely with local charities and by providing advice and support, the council’s housing team can help those sleeping rough or even prevent people slipping into homelessness at all.

The council also undertakes a yearly rough sleeper count. In 2017, there were 10 people reported to be sleeping rough in the borough, this reduced to five in 2018.

Tracey Wood, Head of Housing and Community Engagement at Havant Borough Council, said: “Anyone can find themselves affected by homelessness, often through no fault of their own.

“Sometimes a change in circumstances, such as the bread-winner losing their job or a family break-up, can quickly escalate and put a stable household at risk.

“We have a tool kit of things we can use to help people find new accommodation, but the very best solution is to prevent it happening in the first place.

"There is support and advice available to those who need it however we must be made fully aware of the individual's circumstances to be able to give the appropriate advice.

“People worried about homelessness should always come to Havant Borough Council’s Housing Team and chat it through with us – if we don’t know about it, we can’t help.”

Having been approached, the council will carry out a Housing Needs Assessment and provide advice and assistance to prevent someone from losing their home or to help them secure accommodation.

The council also works very closely with Two Saints, a local support organisation, which also offers free advice and support for those with housing issues, including homelessness prevention, resettlement and sourcing housing.

When the council places someone into any form of temporary accommodation it ensures that the individual and the landlord are protected.

During periods of extreme weather, the council will ensure that rough sleepers have somewhere to go through the Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP).

Anyone concerned about homelessness can contact the Housing Team at The Plaza where a drop-in housing advice service is provided from 9am-5pm on Monday to Thursday and 9am-4.30pm on Friday, by telephoning 023 9244 6379 or by emailing housingservices2@havant.gov.uk.

The council also provides a 24-hour emergency service all year round which can be reached by calling 07850 358156.

Alternatively, if you, or someone you are concerned about, are sleeping rough you can seek help through the Streetlink website (https://www.streetlink.org.uk) or by calling 0300 500 0914.

The information provided there will be reported to Havant Borough Council’s Housing Services Team who will arrange for the rough sleeper to be approached and put in touch with vital local services which can offer them advice and assistance.

The charity Two Saints also runs drop-in sessions, details of which can be found on its website:www.twosaints.org.uk/south-east-hampshire/ or on 023 9247 7863 from 9am to 6pm and on Saturday from 9am to 3pm.