Council to deliver service to area’s homeless

Amber Valley Borough Council will take direct responsibility for delivering a service to the homeless and those seeking housing advice of the area from 2 April this year.

For the past 15 years this service has been provided by what is now Futures Housing Group on behalf of the Borough Council through a contract.

However, it has been decided by the Council that the management of the Housing Register and statutory duties for homelessness will now be handled by the Council.

Commented the Council’s Housing Manager, David Arkle: “We would like to place on record our appreciation for the hard work of all the employees who have delivered important services to residents since 2003. Going forward, the Council will be looking to maintaining a positive working relationship with Futures.

“The decision to return the service to the Council’s direct management was carefully considered. With significant changes to homelessness legislation, through the Homelessness Prevention Act 2017, returning the service to the Council gives the opportunity to integrate homelessness more closely with other Council services.”

Suki Jandu, Group Director of Customer Experiences & Assets at Futures Housing Group, said: “We’ll be sad to see our colleagues leave the Group, but I know they will continue to do a fantastic job for the council and for customers and we wish them every success.”

Residents seeking to access social housing in Amber Valley will still need to register on the Home Options website, but the verification and processing will be completed by the Council. Social landlords will continue to advertise their properties on the Home Options website and will be responsible for shortlisting and all aspects of the lettings process.

The Council will provide a Housing Solutions service, combining statutory duties to prevent and relieve homelessness along with the provision of advice. Officers have been working hard to plan and ensure the best possible transition, not only of the service, but also to prepare for new legal duties.

Experienced employees will transfer to the Council from Futures Housing, and officers are looking to ensure the transition will be as smooth as possible. Up-to-date information on the service will be provided on the Council’s website.

This will include ‘phone numbers and email addresses to help residents make contact.

Futures Housing Group will continue to advise potential tenants wanting to join the Housing Register and will be responsible for the advertising and letting of their own properties.

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