Golden opportunity for housing service in Stafford
Date: 9 Jan, 2017
Stafford Borough Council has become the first in the West Midlands to have been awarded silver status in the Government’s ‘Gold Standard Programme.’
The local authority prevented around 570 people and families from becoming homeless over the last 12 months and now says it is expecting to achieve the gold award for its service later this year.
The rating comes hot on the heels of the news that the Council has secured more than £200,000 from the Government for new initiatives designed to help people sleeping rough.
The ‘silver status’ is awarded by the ‘National Practitioner Support Service’ (NPSS) and examines different elements of the service the Borough Council’s Housing Team provides. This includes giving housing advice, support, and assistance to people who are homeless, or under threat of finding themselves without a roof over their head.
A number of schemes are in place to tackle the problem, working with private landlords, social housing providers and voluntary organisations – such as the Citizen’s Advice Bureau.
Lindsay Megson, Head of the NPSS, said: “The team is delighted that Stafford Borough Council has achieved Silver status in the Gold Standard Programme for their work in tackling and preventing homelessness.
“The Gold Standard programme is an ongoing journey towards continuous improvement and the team's commitment to the development of their front line housing service is commendable.”
Councillor Jeremy Pert, Cabinet Member for Communities, said: “I am pleased that our work in helping homeless people, preventing many from becoming homeless, and providing support for the more vulnerable people in the Borough, is delivering results and has been recognised nationally for doing so.
“Homelessness is an issue across the UK and the more work that Stafford Borough Council and its partners can do to prevent homelessness in the first place by securing enough suitable homes for people, and helping them keep their accommodation, is critical.
“Having such a well-regarded Housing Options team, both regionally and nationally, working to support residents of the Borough at whatever stage they are at is very important to delivering our strategy and addressing the human-side of homelessness."
Anyone who is worried about becoming homeless should contact the Council immediately on 01785 619000 or in an emergency, out of office hours, on 01785 619170. For more details of how the Council can help go to www.staffordbc.gov.uk/housing.
Press Release No 5304
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