From jamie goodwin | Monday 5 October 2020
Local authority wins for its initiative to develop effective ways of helping people keep their homes, especially in a climate of austerity.
Hull City Council has won the Best Social Housing Initiative award in the sought-after MJ Awards, sponsored by the leading local government magazine Municipal Journal.
The awards are the Oscars of local government recognition, with councils nationwide competing against each other.
Hull City Council won for its initiative to develop effective ways of helping people keep their homes, especially in a climate of austerity. The council set out to support residents to prevent homelessness as well as minimising income loss.
Working with a cross-section of housing teams and with partners in mental health services, Department of Work and Pensions and the Domestic Abuse Partnership, the council focused on wrap-around tenancy support.
It included a review of established policies such as for Housing Allocations and Discretionary Housing Payments, the introduction of dedicated tenancy sustainment workers alongside specialist mental health social workers and co-locating Universal Credit housing staff in the local job centre. The local authority ensured all frontline staff had access to high quality training to support the initiative.
And the new collaborative approach to helping people sustain their tenancies is proving successful, with 80 per cent of tenants that were helped by our mental health workers have kept their tenancy for 12 months or more.
Nic Harne, Assistant Director for Neighbourhoods and Housing, said: “Winning the MJ award in this category is a fantastic accolade for us, but more importantly this initiative is achieving such positive outcomes for our tenants and for the council itself.
"Its success is down to a truly collaborative effort between teams from housing, other service areas in the council as well as with partner organisations. Well done and thank you to everyone involved.”