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Who's at risk and why

Background papers: Lifestyle and wider determinants :: Housing and homelessness :: Who's at risk and why

Vulnerable People

Key Achievements 2008–11
• Supported Housing Gateway system was set up, which since 1 April 2009 has placed 1,903 vulnerable people in supported accommodation or provided them with floating support.

Young People

Young people continue to be over-represented amongst those presenting as homeless and often have complex needs that require additional and on-going support. Of the people who were accepted as homeless in 2010-11, 38% were aged 16-24. This clearly shows that the younger generation in Medway are experiencing issues around accessing or maintaining accommodation or housing services. One of the main challenges we face is to help raise the profile of the advice and assistance that is available particularly for young people, who have raised this specific issue through our consultation work.

Figure 1: Homeless Applications in 2010--11 by Age Group
Figure 1: Homeless Applications in 2010–11 by Age Group

Reasons for Homelessness

The main reason for homelessness in 2010–11 was that parents/relatives were no longer willing to provide accommodation, with 81 approaches being made for this reason. Another 36 approaches were made due to rent arrears within private rented accommodation. Work should therefore be based around assisting people within these situations or facing housing barriers, whether it be better benefits advice and access to surgeries to apply for assistance or empowering people with the knowledge of their housing options so families are able to make decisions and choices to achieve suitable arrangements for their families in accessing their own homes.

In terms of the reasons for accepted households being in priority need, during 2010–11, households with a dependent child accounted for the greatest proportion (55%); mental illness or disability accounted for 11%, physical disability for 8% and households including pregnant women 8%.

Temporary Accommodation

Effective support is provided to people living in Temporary Accommodation. Starter packs are provided for those with few possessions and there is also support for those leaving temporary accommodation. All tenants of social housing get a visit within two weeks of moving into their new homes and are then visited at least quarterly thereafter. A 'move on' protocol with social housing providers helps secure permanent accommodation and we target clients who have been in Temporary Accommodation the longest time. Over the last three years the number of people placed in Temporary Accommodation has reduced from 151 at the end of 2008-9 to 102 people at the end of 2010–11.