Gold Standard to improve homelessness services
Councils will be able to share support and best practice to achieve a new Gold Standard status for homelessness services, housing minister Mark Prisk has announced.
The £1.7m scheme will offer local authorities support and training to gain the new status. Led by Winchester City Council and supported by the National Homelessness Advice Service, the scheme includes an online toolkit to identify areas for improvement, free training on complex issues such as housing law and tailored support to develop efficient services.
The scheme will be peer-led and requirements for Gold Standard status include offering a comprehensive prevention service; working with local agencies to provide employment, education and training opportunities; offering households facing repossession mortgage debt advice and support; and adopting a local ‘No second night out’ scheme to prevent new rough sleepers from becoming entrenched in a street lifestyle.
Prisk said: “We have one of the strongest safety nets in the world against homelessness, backed with £470m government funding. It is vital this continues to protect the most vulnerable in society.
“That’s why we’re investing £1.7m in this Gold Standard scheme, helping councils across the country learn from each other to deliver the best possible service, and ensuring that those facing the threat of losing their home get the support they need.”
Applications for the Gold Standard are open from May 1.
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Image c. Trowbridge Estate