Covid 19 service delivery for Supported Accommodation and Lodgings
By Fiona Carling on 29.6.20
At the beginning of the lock down Solo Housing took the difficult decision to suspend the assessment of new applications for supported accommodation; to maintain the safety of our staff and our existing residents.
We are now in the process of gradual reopening to assess and place people into our existing vacant bed spaces. As staff are still predominantly working from home and managing the amount of face to face contact they have with service users, we are working closely with our partner local authorities to offer our existing supported accommodation vacancies, directly to homeless people in temporary accommodation. At present therefore we are unable to assess or accommodate people in our supported housing unless they have been referred to us by the local authority housing department.
However, our lodgings service continues to operate as normal. If you would like to find out more about our Lodgings accommodation, please go to this page on our website https://www.solohousing.org/accommodation-seekers/lodgings-scheme/
Covid 19 Service delivery FAQS
Q: What if I am working with somebody that needs supported accommodation?
A: Direct your client to make a homeless application with their local authority. If they are suitable for one of our vacancies, they will be put forward by their Housing Officer.
Q: Why are Solo working directly with Councils?
A: Homelessness has increased as a result of Covid-19. Our funders expect us to work with local authorities to ensure that we allocate spaces to those that need them most. The authorities are also assisting us by providing any background information which will help us to assess someone for accommodation.
Q: Can my client be put on a waiting list?
A: No. We have found that waiting lists can give prospective applicants false hope and may impact on their ability to pursue other options. We will contact partner agencies and update our website when we are accepting agency referrals and direct applications again.
Q: When will Solo start taking ‘normal’ referrals again?
A: At present we have not set a fixed date as it will be subject to further Covid 19 guidance. We are keen to start opening up our services more widely but we must do this safely. So our referral process will be reviewed as, and when, social distancing measures are eased. We will contact partner agencies to advise them of any changes.
hat areas are you actively assessing referrals for lodgings suitability?
A: We are currently assessing people in the East Suffolk area and with effect from 15th June, we will commence the assessment process for referrals in both South Norfolk and Breckland. From 6th July our wider Lodgings Schemes in Ipswich and Colchester will start to reopen.
Q: Is it safe for lodgings placements to occur?
A: We have put all safety measures in place according to government guidelines and are following these stringently to ensure the safety of all parties.
Can I send someone to your offices to book an appointment or see someone for advice?
A: Please do not send anyone to our offices without a pre booked appointment. We are only assessing those that have had an initial telephone interview and if a face to face appointment is necessary. They will be invited to attend a pre-arranged appointment where all safety measures are in place. Our offices continue to have minimum numbers of staff available and are not open to the general public until further notice.
Q: What if I have a rough sleeper needing urgent assistance?
A: If the person has no support needs other than their homeless situation and you feel they are suitable for lodgings, please make contact with the appropriate Local Authority and request that a lodgings referral is sent to us or visit our website page here https://www.solohousing.org/accommodation-seekers/lodgings-scheme/ to find our more.
Will Solo continue to support lodgings placements?
A: We are continuing to provide full support to our landlords and lodgers by phone, email and online video conferencing software.
Q: I have someone who may benefit from becoming a Lodgings Landlord?
A: Please pass on any details to us and we will make direct contact with the interested person. Please do not ask them to come and see us as our offices are currently closed to the general public.
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