Pledge your support to the Homelessness Charter
Every individual and organisation signing up to this charter agrees that everyone who is homeless or at risk of becoming homeless should have a right to:
- A safe, secure home along with an appropriate level of support to create a good quality of life and wellbeing
- Respect and a good standard of service everywhere
- A voice and involvement in determining the solutions to their own issues, to homelessness generally, and in wider society
- Tell their own story, be listened to, feel that their experience is valued and not be stigmatised through being homeless
- Safety from violence, abuse, theft and discrimination, and the full protection of the law
- Recognition that homelessness and rough sleeping are often symptoms of long-term trauma and multiple disadvantage requiring a coordinated approach that puts the person at the centre of the solution
- Equality of access to information and services
- Equality of opportunity to employment, training, volunteering, leisure and creative activities
Click here to read the full Homelessness Charter
Click here to pledge your support to the Homelessness Charter
“The city council will aim to keep rent arrears to a minimum by operating a firm but fair approach to provide tenants in arrears with sound advice, offer practical, affordable repayment plans and minimise evictions. Our processes have been designed around a preventative approach that seeks to maximise tenants’ income, ensure Housing Benefit / Universal Credit housing element is correctly assessed, and ensure payments are made when due. Emphasis will be placed on early intervention whilst arrears are at a relatively low level in order to prevent the escalation of arrears.
Evictions will only be considered as a last resort where all other alternatives for recovering amounts owed have failed…and we believe that individuals are choosing not to pay rather than can’t pay.
Support and advice will be made available by the council to try to prevent someone losing their home, individual Personal Housing Plans agreed and shared where eviction is likely to have to be considered. A referral can be made to the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) where a tenant requires debt advice.”
(Councillor Carl Edwards, Cabinet Member for Housing and Environment, Stoke-on-Trent City Council)
“We will increase and enhance our provision to support those with multiple and complex needs and who are experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness.”
(Anna Wilcox, Director of Services, Saltbox)
“We can provide lived experience advice and guidance also volunteering opportunities for people who are experiencing homelessness to gain work skills and be involved in a national movement.”
(Darren Murinas, Chief Executive, Expert Citizens)
“We commit to supporting the Charter by engaging fully in the homelessness forum and homelessness reduction board and any future homelessness summits. Working in partnership with other organisations to continue to address and improve the lives of people in Stoke who are faced with homelessness or the threat of homelessness.”
(Ann Ewens, Chief Executive Officer, Gingerbread)
“We commit to supporting the Charter by ensuring a focus on homelessness prevention (alongside existing homelessness) and the broad spectrum of homelessness – from sofa surfing to sleeping on the street.
Have close working relationships with local housing authority, local housing providers and homelessness organisations in Stoke on Trent area to understand the housing support available and develop a joined-up approach to tackling homelessness.
Ensure Jobcentre colleagues have up to date information on local housing support and supply employment opportunities and other support for homeless people/rough sleepers.
Ensure operational colleagues support homeless people/rough sleepers to make their claim to Universal Credit.
Encourage use of Alternative Payment Arrangements to safeguard accommodation and easements to prevent unnecessary sanctions.
Increase awareness of the challenges facing rough sleepers when applying for Universal Credit and the support we have in place to enable a claim to be made. Promote awareness of the duty to refer in all jobcentres in North Staffordshire and what it means for work coaches and claimants.”
(Jo Reilly, Senior Partnership Manager, Department of Work and Pensions)
“We commit to supporting the Charter by delivering on our mission to breaking barriers, building people and bettering homes.
Through our brands Staffs Housing, Revival, Glow and Concrete, we will make sure everyone in the areas we work in can access and maintain a happy home of their own.
We will partner with housing and service providers across the City to tackle the root causes that prevent people from securing and sustaining a home of their own.
We will: - Provide high quality, safe and secure homes - Prevent homelessness by supporting people to keep their home and give them the skills to live independently - Successfully lead and deliver homeless services with partners - Prevent homelessness by educating and raising awareness in schools, businesses and communities”
(Melanie Dunn, Director of Support and Wellbeing, Concrete)