COMMUNITIES AND LOCAL
GOVERNMENT News Release (163) issued by The Government News Network
on 3 July 2008
training, employment and childcare are just some of the extra
services that will be on offer to people when they discuss their
housing options with their local authority said Housing Minister
Caroline Flint today as she announced the winners of the first of
two programmes of 'trailblazers'.
The twelve trailblazers will offer a greater range of advice to
people looking for housing, with some moving towards a 'one
stop shop' approach of personalised advice and links to
employment opportunities and training.
Currently people have to go to several different places to find
the advice they need to make realistic decisions about where to live.
The trailblazers intend to change this approach by providing
advice on the full range of housing options from social housing to
shared ownership to privately rented properties, linking this with
wider employment-related advice to ensure that people are fully
informed and able to make the right choice for their individual circumstances.
Speaking at the "Focus E15", an East London foyer run
by East Potential that provides support, training and
accommodation to young people in housing need, Housing Minister
Caroline Flint said:
"I've seen at first hand the real difference that can
be made by giving young people access to both housing and
employment advice and we want this opportunity to be available to
everyone. These new trailblazers will do just that. They will be a
stepping stone to independence, giving people the advice they need
to find training and a job as well as a home."
Each of the trailblazers will get up to £350,000 to develop their
housing advice services, making links to employment advice and
other services in accordance with their locally identified needs.
The funding will enable local authorities to create advice
services tailored to the needs of their local area and local
clients, away from the one size fits all approach.
One winner, Croydon, plans to link housing advice with learning
and training services through a scheme called 'Broadening
Horizons,' bringing new skills and expertise to frontline
housing staff. Two officers based in the central housing advice
centre will go out and about in the community to provide advice
and assistance to those in need. Other trailblazers plan to offer
IT lessons or hold a weekly job club at the housing office,
enabling people to learn about their housing options while
brushing up on skills such as CV writing, interview skills and job
The twelve trailblazers will also take on a mentoring role,
sharing best practice and support with around 20 councils that
will receive funding to kick start their own enhanced housing
options schemes in 2009/2010.
Notes to Editors
The twelve local authority Trailblazer winners are:
John Hills report 'Ends and Means: The Future Roles of
Social Housing in England' (February 2007) suggested that
authorities could offer more integrated housing and employment
advice to tackle worklessness. The successful councils will offer
a broader approach to housing advice and employment advice to
ensure that people are more aware of all the options and
opportunities available to them.
On 20 March we published 'Expanding Choice, Addressing Need,
Addressing Housing Need through the Enhanced Housing Options
which set out the government's vision for the future of
housing options services.
Bids for the second programme - the Enhanced Housing Options
Programme - are currently being assessed.
East Potential is a registered charity and a company limited by
guarantee. A subsidiary of East Thames Group, East Potential is
responsible for the Group's foyers. It provides accommodation
for more than 450 young people and support, training and
employment opportunities for them and for other local young people
hoping to break the 'no-home, no-job' cycle. It is also
responsible for the Group's corporate relationship,
neighbourhood regeneration and social responsibility programmes.
News Releases: http://www.communities.gov.uk/newsroom