Councils need rent arrears management

Local authority housing departments are not tackling rent arrears
management or working closely enough with social services
departments as part of their homelessness strategies, warns

In the second of its research reports into the progress of local
authorities and The Homelessness Act 2002, Shelter reveals that
only one in five of the 26 local authorities surveyed had reviewed
the impact of their own rent arrears management practices on local

Adam Sampson, director of Shelter, said: “Councils and housing
associations need to look hard at the way they work to ensure
homelessness is no longer caused by hasty evictions and exclusions
of those with past rent arrears.”

Shelter wants local authorities and registered social landlords to
identify ways of preventing homelessness caused by rent arrears –
such as arrears resolution services – as part of their homelessness
strategies due out next month.

The report also finds that the closer co-operation between housing
and social services required under the act has still not been
achieved in most areas because of “poor communication, insufficient
resources and a lack of vision”.

Seven authorities said engaging with social services was proving to
be the main difficulty in developing their strategies while more
than half the authorities’ joint working practices on Children’s
Act cases had not been revised.

– Homelessness Act Implementation Research: Local Authority
Progress and Practice Six Months On

More from Community Care

Comments are closed.