• Health & Social Care

Addressing Homelessness: Reducing-Preventing-Ending

  • Tuesday, 19 September 2017
  • The Studio, Manchester
  • 08:30 - 16:15
  • Overview

The number of people sleeping rough has risen for the sixth year in a row. The latest official figures estimate that 4,134 people are sleeping on the streets, an increase of 16% of the previous year and double the figure from 2010. The human impact felt by the rise cannot be underestimated and exacerbate the plight of those who find themselves with nowhere safe to stay.

Jon Sparkes, Chief Executive of homelessness charity Crisis, said: “Behind these statistics are thousands of desperate people, sleeping in doorways, bin shelters, stations and parks – anywhere they can find to stay safe and escape the elements.”

Open Forum Events is hosting the Addressing Homelessness: Reducing-Preventing-Ending conference which will look to analyse the current trends in the prevalence of homelessness and the causes perpetuating them, whilst providing valuable insight into overcoming the challenges of providing homes for all.

With the focus on prevention, the government has pledged £40m to support people from becoming homeless in the first instance, rather than having to deal with the consequences once people find themselves without a place they can call home. A further £48m is being provided to support councils to deliver the Homeless Reduction Bill which is progressing through parliament and will mean anyone at risk of losing their home, not just those in vulnerable groups, will get the help they need more quickly. The housing white paper sets out measures to combat the housing shortage and recognises that high rents and costs in the private sector is putting more people at risk of becoming homeless. These are some of the initiatives at national governmental level, however, at ground level there are many local projects that are working with individuals to improve their circumstances.

The Addressing Homelessness: Reducing-Preventing-Ending conference agenda will seek to share understanding and strategic thinking of the homeless situation in the UK and will highlight issues of particular concern such as; the increasing occurrence of youth homelessness, the risks and consequences of modern day slavery and the factors impacting on health in the homeless community. The programme will feature plenary addresses from those at the forefront of tackling homelessness covering the evidence, causes and impacts, whilst examples of successful interventions and projects will be showcased as possible long term solutions which delegates’ own organisations may benefit from adopting. There will be ample opportunity for all participants and contributors to discuss, question and debate the issues throughout the day.

Official government figures for England show that there has been a 51% increase in the number of people sleeping rough in the last two years and a rise of 133% since 2010. On any one night in 2016, 4,134 people were sleeping on the streets. London, as a region, has the highest percentage with the 2016 figures indicating a 3% rise, however, the rest of the country revealed a 21% increase, indicating that homelessness is not only on the increase but becoming more widespread and less of a London centric problem. The East of England showed the largest increase on the previous year of 44%, followed by the North East (42%), East Midlands (23%) and the North East (18%). An analysis by Shelter of official statistics from four different methods of recording homelessness claims that over 250,000 people are without homes in England and even this figure is “a robust lower-end estimate”.

There are many reasons why people find themselves homeless. Losing a private tenancy is currently the main reason, however, other common reasons include relationship breakdown or family and friends unwilling or unable to continue to accommodate them. Factors such as poverty, poor physical and mental health, addictions, unemployment, welfare cuts, lack of affordable housing and domestic violence can also significantly influence and increase the risk of losing your home.

Although no one is safe from becoming homeless, certain groups are more likely to find themselves without a safe place to stay such as single males and migrants. Perhaps most concerning are the levels of young people who are susceptible to becoming homeless. Centrepoint found that in 2015 150,000 young people approached councils for help as they were at risk of becoming or were already homeless. One in three of those seeking assistance are turned away unsupported. Many more fall into the category of ‘hidden homeless’ as they sofa surf through life. Research suggests that over the last three years the true figures for youth homelessness is five times greater than government statutory figures suggest.

The Homeless Reduction Bill, introduced as a private members’ bill by Bob Blackman MP, is designed to ensure that anyone facing the threat of becoming homeless receive the support they need and not just those in the designated priority groups. £48m of government funding will support local authorities to help eligible people- whether they are single or a family- for 56 days before they are threatened with homelessness. Those already homeless will get support for a further 56 days to help them secure accommodation. Free information and advice services will also be made available. The government is committed to putting prevention as the focus to deal with homelessness and to support this will protect the £315m of funding to 2020 for councils to deliver homeless prevention services. A further £40m has also been announced to intervene and help families and individuals before they find themselves on the streets.

The controversy surrounding affordable housing supply further compounds the complexities of homelessness. The recently published housing white paper sets out to reform the housing market and deliver more affordable homes for sale or rent. It will remain to be seen if the outcomes include a reduction in homeless numbers.

Join us at the Addressing Homelessness: Reducing-Preventing-Ending conference where the challenges of homelessness will be confronted, digested and discussed with a view to seek further solutions to ending homelessness.

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  • Confirmed Speakers

  • Benefits of attending

  • Gain an insight into the current homeless situation in the UK and hear what strategies are in place
    to counter the problems and prevent people from becoming homeless in the first instance
  • Hear what funding is available to support programmes to reduce the prevalence of homelessness
  • Improve understanding of the causes of homelessness and the factors that contribute to reducing a
    person to a life of rough sleeping
  • With young people making up a large proportion of the homeless community and many more in the ‘hidden
    homeless’ category, listen to how this vulnerable group is being supported
  • Hear about the health challenges facing those that are homeless
  • Discover how the Homeless Reduction Bill will change how homeless people are treated in future
  • Better understand the challenges of affordable housing supply and how shortages impact on homeless
    numbers, whilst learning how the housing white paper may alleviate the situation
  • Listen to examples of interventions that are proving to be successful and projects that are engaging
    with those living on the streets
  • Be better equipped to recognise the risks of homeless people becoming victims of modern day
    slavery
  • Discuss with expert contributors how to overcome some of the challenges faced locally
  • Share best practice and experiences
  • Benefit from the opportunity to question, discuss and debate with speakers and fellow delegates
  • Take advantage of knowledge sharing and professional networking
  • Gain CPD credits

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Event Sponsors and Supporters

  • Event Programme

08:30am

Registration and Coffee in the Networking Area

09:25am

Chair’s Opening Address

Mark McPherson, Director of Strategy, Partnership and Innovation, Homeless Link (confirmed)
"Welcome and introduction"
09:30am

Keynote Address

Clive Betts MP, Chair, Communities and Local Government Select Committee (confirmed)
"Tackling Homelessness and Rough Sleeping"

Latest figures reveal that homelessness and rough sleeping are on the rise with a 51% increase in the number of people living on the streets during the last two years. What needs to be done to reverse this trend and ensure that everyone has a safe place to stay?

09:50am
Professor Suzanne Fitzpatrick, Professor of Housing and Social Policy, Heriot-Watt University (confirmed)
"The Causes of Homelessness"

There is a plethora of reasons why a person of family may find themselves homeless. Currently, losing a private tenancy is cited as the most common reason, however, welfare reforms, relationship breakdown, health issues, poverty and housing shortages are also some of the many factors that can render a person homeless.

10:10am

Martin Gill, Director of Housing and Support, Centrepoint (confirmed)

"Young and Homeless"

Half of all people that are seeking help with homelessness from local authorities and charities are under the age of 25. Similarly, over half of people living in homeless services are young people in the same age bracket. Young people traditionally have additional challenges to overcome with issues such as education, training and skills, substance misuse and mental illness. The regulations recently laid out by the government preventing 18 to 21 year olds from claiming the housing element of Universal Credit are feared may heighten the risks to young people of becoming homeless or sofa surfing.

10:30am

Main Sponsor

10:50am

Question and Answer Session

11:00am

Coffee in the Networking Area

11:45am

Case Study

Speaker TBC, Big Issue North (confirmed)

12:05pm

Amanda Croome, CEO, Booth Centre (confirmed)

Jo Wilson, Volunteer, Booth Centre (confirmed)

"Re-designing Services Through Co-production"

This presentation will share the experience of The Manchester Homeless Charter and Partnership which is working to re-design homeless services in Manchester bringing together statutory services, voluntary and faith based organisations, businesses, the Universities and most importantly people with experience of homelessness.

12:25pm
Deborah Garvie, Policy Manager, Shelter (confirmed)
"Improving Access to Settled Homes"

The availability of suitable, affordable accommodation is key in preventing and alleviating homelessness. With social housing evictions running at 17,500 a year, allocations to homeless households down and slump in new supply, government is looking to the private rental sector to tackle homelessness. Over the last 20 years, this sector has seen considerable expansion but has become more difficult for low-income households to access. Many families cannot afford a privately rented home, or encounter landlords unwilling to let to benefit claimants. Growing numbers are trapped for years in insecure temporary accommodation, while many low-income renters have no choice but to accept unsuitable homes, poor conditions and bad landlords. What needs to change?

12:45pm
Dr. Chris O’Leary, Director, Policy Evaluation and Research Unit, Manchester Metropolitan University (confirmed)
"Understanding the underlying causes of homelessness in the private rented sector: evidence from a mixed methods research project"

The number of people who state that the end of their private rented sector tenancy was followed by an episode of homeless has increased in recent years. Rupps (2008), undertaking research at the height of the financial crisis and using data from the homeless charity Shelter, estimates that fifteen per cent of tenancy terminations were followed by an episode of homelessness. Drawing on local authority data on statutory homelessness presentations, the Department of Communities and Local Government believes that over thirty percent of terminations are now followed by an episode of homelessness (DCLG, 2016). Are these accurate and comparable estimates of the levels of homelessness in former private rented sector tenants? What might explain this increase? What factors might be material? Do (a) differences in the types of accommodation accessed; (b) whether the tenancy was the outcome of referral by a local authority; (c) types of landlords and whether the tenant had previous experience of homelessness, matter? What might we learn from data and evidence around the risks, causes and trigger events for homelessness more generally, and how homelessness can be prevented or its duration and impact reduced? I will present findings from a piece of mixed methods research commissioned by the Residential Landlords’ Association to understand the underlying causes of homelessness in the private rented sector. The research draws on interviews with key stakeholders, a survey of landlords, secondary data analysis and work with homeless former private rented sector tenants.

13:05pm

Question and Answer Session

13:15pm

Lunch in the Networking Area

14:15pm

Chair’s Afternoon Address

14:20pm

Case Study

14:40pm
David Parker-Radford, Homeless Health Programme Manager, The Queen’s Nursing Institute (confirmed)
"Homelessness Aware Healthcare"

The Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI) has an aim to improve the quality of healthcare for people experiencing homelessness. As such, it manages a national homeless health programme which researches homeless and inclusion health issues, shares relevant news and supports the development of good practice through innovation funding and learning events.

15:00pm
Laura Dodge, Marketing and Communications Manager, Streetwise Opera (confirmed)
"Arts: The missing piece in the homelessness puzzle"

Find out how Streetwise Opera uses music to help people who have experienced homelessness make positive changes in their lives. The award-winning charity runs workshop programmes across England, stages critically-acclaimed operas and manages With One Voice, an international arts and homelessness movement. Streetwise Opera’s work shows that the arts play a vital role in improving wellbeing and increasing social inclusion – key issues in tackling homelessness.

15:20pm

Question and Answer Session

15:30pm

Afternoon Break

15:40pm
Shan Lloyd Williams, Head of Housing Services, Isle of Anglesey County Council (confirmed)
"Housing First Project"

Housing First Anglesey provides residential support to homeless people with complex needs. It is currently the only project of its type in Wales.
Housing First differs from the traditional method of housing homeless people as it takes people with complex needs and places them straight into their own rented accommodation. A 24-hour intensive support package is provided to ensure that all the individual’s needs are met and they can then begin to address the underlying issues that caused their homelessness.

16:00pm
Tatiana Gren-Jardan, Victim Support and Partnerships Adviser, Office of the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner (confirmed)
"Understanding and Responding to Modern Slavery Within the Homelessness Sector"

This report evidences the link between homelessness and modern day slavery. It found that people living on the streets in the UK are at risk of becoming victims of modern slavery. Those that are homeless are vulnerable to the approaches of rogue employers offering work and accommodation whilst the reality is one of exploitation in appalling circumstances. An estimated 10-13,000 people in the UK fall victim to such exploitation, often rendering them destitute and homeless.

16:20pm

Question and Answer Session

16:30pm

Chair’s Closing Remarks and Event Close

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Venue

The Studio, Manchester

The Studio, Manchester

Situated at the heart of the city, just a hop, skip and jump away from all major transport links: thestudiomanchester has much more than 10 vibrant spaces to offer. Whatever the legendary Manchester weather has to throw at you, you’ll always find the warmest of welcomes at thestudio.

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  • Who will attend?

  • Academics, Analysts and Researchers
  • Benefits Officers
  • Board members
  • Chairs
  • Chief Executives
  • Clinicians
  • Commissioning Officers
  • Community Care Leads
  • Community Development Team Officers
  • Community Engagement Officers
  • Consultants in Public Health/Diet/Rehabilitation
  • Councillors
  • Developers
  • Directors
  • Directors of Care Services
  • Directors/Heads Homelessness & Asylum Services
  • Directors/Heads of Adult Social Services
  • Directors/Heads of Housing
  • Directors/Heads of Housing Associations
  • Directors/Heads of Integrated Care
  • Directors/Heads of Public Health
  • Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Practitioners
  • Family Support Officers
  • Finance Directors
  • GPs
  • Heads of Charities/Third Sector Organisations
  • Heads of Housing Trusts
  • Heads of Mental Health
  • Heads/Leads Clinical Commissioning Groups
  • Health and Safety Officers
  • Health and Wellbeing Board Members
  • Health Improvement Teams
  • Homelessness Managers and Officers
  • Housing Advice Teams
  • Housing Options/Needs Team Managers and Officers
  • Housing Policy Managers and Officers
  • Housing Services Management Team Leads
  • In-house lawyers and legal advisers
  • Lettings/Allocations Teams
  • Local Authority Officers
  • Neighbourhood Officers/Managers
  • Principal Officers – Health and Housing
  • Social Housing and Support Officers
  • Strategic Planning and Commissioning Teams
  • Sustainable Housing Project Managers
  • Temporary Accommodation Officers