Harrow Council held a Homelessness Call to Action webinar yesterday (22 July) attended by over 50 delegates, with the aim of preparing for the expected surge in homelessness demand this year.
Harrow Council welcomed representatives from the voluntary and community sector, statutory services, landlords and councillors.
Guest speakers included Eloise Shepherd, Head of Housing & Planning, at London Councils; Scott Bryant, Private Rented Sector Manager at the Greater London Authority (GLA); and Yvonne Baisden from the National Residential Landlords Association.
Three workshops focused on homelessness prevention, partnership working and employment/financial inclusion benefits, were chaired by Glen Hearnden (Chair of the Harrow VCS Forum), Julian Saunders (Manager of Firm Foundation) and Susan Kearney (Harrow CAB).
The exercise identified four key priorities. These are:
• Early intervention to prevent homelessness
• Taking a whole system approach with stakeholders working together to understand the challenges and integrate actions to improve systems
• Enabling a shared understanding of needs, pathways and limitations
• Improving awareness of information, advice and support for landlords and tenants including welfare benefits and employment
Julian Higson, the Council’s Director of Housing Services, said: “We will only tackle homelessness effectively if all organisations involved work together. If we do this effectively, we will help prevent people from losing their homes, and assist them with the money, support and employment opportunities they might need.”
The Harrow Homelessness Reduction Board will now take forward the actions agreed at the webinar.
Source: Harrow Council