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Have your say - Homelessness and Rough Sleeper Strategy

Medway Council has drafted a Homelessness and Rough Sleeper Strategy 2019-24. We want to get the views of residents, local businesses and other stakeholders on the key themes of the strategy

We will use the feedback we receive from this consultation to review the strategy and make any changes needed. We will then send the strategy through our governance processes, before seeking a final sign off in late 2019 from the Cabinet, who are responsible for implementing the council's budget and policies. Once the strategy has been agreed, we will monitor progress against the actions every three months and write a new action plan every year.

This survey will run from 5 July 2019 to 22 September 2019.

Taking part in the survey

Taking part in the survey is voluntary. Before taking part you should read our privacy notice as this tells you about the information we collect and what we will do with it.
This notice is about Medway Council and the collection of personal information for the Homelessness and Rough Sleeper Strategy 2019-2024. In this notice, Medway Council will be referred to as ‘we’, ‘us’ or ‘our’.

Medway Council is the data controller (contact details below) for the information you provide when completing the Homelessness and Rough Sleeper Strategy 2019-2024.  This means it decides how your personal data is processed and for what purposes.
Medway Council is developing its Homelessness and Rough Sleeper Strategy 2019-2024. The responses received will be key in helping us to make sure the strategy is covering the right things and if there is anything else we should consider before the strategy is agreed through the Council’s decision making processes.

By taking part in the survey you will be agreeing to us processing your personal information in the analysis of your response. The types of activity this includes is;
·processing your survey
·grouping and analysing the results by different characteristics e.g. about you or the organisation you work for
·Sharing aggregated results with other parts of the council
·If you are an organisation, contacting you about your response
We will collect and process the following personal information about you if you are responding as an individual;
·Your sex
·Your age group
·Your ethnicity
·If you have a long term illness or disability

If you are responding as an organisation we will ask for the name of the organisation you work for. We will also ask for a contact name and details of the most appropriate person to discuss your response with; providing these details are voluntary and you will be asked your consent to provide them.
When completing the survey you will provide information about who you are (demographics) if you are responding as an individual or your organisation name and contact details if you are responding on behalf of an organisation. We provide more detail below about how we use each category of information.

Your information will not be passed to any third parties unless we are required to do so by law (for example as part of a criminal or fraud investigation).

If you are responding as an individual, the information you provide will not be used to report on individual responses. We will combine your response with all the other responses we receive to create statistical reports of the results of the survey to allow us to identify trends in responses between different groups of users.

If you are responding as an organisation, the organisation name may be used as part of reports. Any contact details provided will not be used for any other purpose.
The information below explains how we use each of the categories of data.
Who you are

The demographic information (age group, sex and if you have a long term illness or disability) you provide is used to;
·Understand the profile of respondents and how it compares to Medway as a whole.
·Help us understand the demographics (age group, sex, ethnicity and long term illness or disability status) of who has responded to the survey and if there are any differences between groups.

The information you provide is pseudonymised; that means that the personal information we ask for is grouped by a field which makes it harder to identify a person for example instead of using your month and year of birth we ask your age group.
Your organisation

If you are responding on behalf of an organisation you will be asked to provide your organisation name.

You will also be asked for your contact name and details of the most appropriate person to discuss your response with; providing these details is voluntary. We will ask specifically for your consent to do this as part of the survey.
We will keep the completed surveys for five years after the close of the survey.
We will process your data as you have given your consent to complete the survey. After you have submitted the survey we have a legitimate interest in the processing of your personal data for the specific purposes outlined in the ‘how we use your information section’.

We will ask you for your consent for aspects which are not vital for the running of the survey at each relevant point.
As we are using your personal information on the basis of your consent, you have the right to withdraw that consent at any time. You can do so by e-mailing housing.enquiries@medway.gov.uk and withdrawing your consent. This is one of your data processing rights, a summary of your other rights can be seen below.
The right to be informed – You have the right to be told how your personal information will be used. This notice, and shorter statements we use in our communications, are intended to be a clear description of how your data may be used.

The right of access - You can write to us asking what information we hold on you and to request a copy of that information. This is called a Subject Access Request. We will have 30 days to respond to you once we are satisfied you have right to see the requested records and we have successfully confirmed your identity. Details on how to submit a Subject Access Request can be found on our data protection page.
The right to rectification - If you believe our records are inaccurate you have the right to ask for the records concerning you to be updated. This enables you to have any incomplete or inaccurate data we hold about you corrected. We may need to verify the accuracy of the new data provided to us. You can let us know about any changes to your information by emailing  housing.enquiries@medway.gov.uk.

The right to erasure – this is also known as ‘your right to be forgotten’. If you withdraw your consent for the processing of your data we will delete the personally identifiable information we hold about you.

The right to restrict processing – you have the right to restrict our processing of your data in some cases for example if we disagree about the accuracy of the data.
The right to data portability – as you have given your data by consent you have the right to request a copy of your personally identifiable information. This information can be passed directly to you or a third party in a machine readable format.

The right to object – as you have given your data by consent you do not have the right to object to your data being processed, but you are able to withdraw your consent by emailing housing.enquiries@medway.gov.uk. You do have the right to object to your data being used for direct marketing purposes.
Rights in relation to automated decision making – In a situation where a data controller is using your personal data in a computerised model or algorithm to make decisions “that have a legal effect on you”, you have the right to object. (For example if you were applying for a mortgage or finance products). We do not undertake complex computerised decision making that produce legal effects.
If you would like to contact us for more information about the Homelessness and Rough Sleeper Strategy you can contact us by email at  housing.enquiries@medway.gov.uk or in writing to the to Housing Strategy and Partnerships Team, Medway Council, Gun Wharf, Dock Road, Chatham, ME4 4TR.

If you have any queries or complaints about this privacy notice please contact us;

Data Protection Officer; Gayle Jones on 01634 334329, by email at GDPR@medway.gov.uk or write to the Data Protection Officer, Medway Council, Gun Wharf, Dock Road, Chatham, ME4 4TR.

If you are unhappy with the response to a complaint you have made you can contact the Information Commissioner’s Office;

By phone on 0303 123 1113, online at  www.ico.org.uk  or at the Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire. SK9 5AF.

Last updated 5 July 2019
  Are you happy to take part in the Homelessness and Rough Sleeper Strategy survey?

Taking part

Thank you for your initial interest in the Homelessness and Rough Sleeper Strategy survey. Unfortunately as you do not want to give your permission to take part we cannot process your personal information. If you change your mind you can take part in the survey whilst it is open. Please close your internet browser now to end this survey.

Developing the new strategy

Why do we need a new strategy?

Medway's current Homlessness Prevention Strategy runs up until the end of 2019. Since this strategy was written the Government introduced new legislation. The Homelessness Reduction Act 2017, which came into force during 2018. This new legislation changed the way we worked by;
·increasing our ability to prevent homelessness
·increasing the number of homeless people we can help find a home
·placing a duty on some organisations to tell us when they become aware that a household is likely to become homeless so we can offer help earlier.
Review of homelessness in Medway

To help us develop the Homelessness and Rough Sleeper Strategy we carried out a
Homelessness Review in autumn 2018 and got feedback from partner agencies. We also asked Medway’s Citizens’ Panel about their perception on homelessness and rough sleeping, the services available and how well they worked together. The comments from this have informed how we plan to provide information regarding homelessness services.

Key findings from the review were;

1.The local housing allowance, which can be paid as housing benefit or as part of universal credit, is lower than most private sector rents, leaving tenants to fund the shortfall. The local housing allowance is not set by Medway Council.
2.The number of households (which includes one person living on their own) seeking help to resolve their homelessness is increasing.
3.Most households become homeless because their landlord serves them notice to quit, the next most common reason is parents asking an adult child to leave.
4.Families with children are the type of household found to be homeless most frequently. People aged 44 and younger and much more likely to be homeless than older people.
5.A large number of public and voluntary organisations provide advice and support to homeless people. Many cooperate with each other and are members of the Homelessness Forum
6.Rough sleeping is a small, but very visible part, of homelessness. Around 25% of rough sleepers using shelters are ex-offenders.

The Homelessness and Rough Sleeper Strategy

The strategy aims to address homelessness and rough sleeping in Medway by ensuring opportunities to prevent homelessness are taken, preventing recurring homelessness and promoting cooperation between organisations who support homeless people.

The strategy is organised into five broad themes
·Providing advice and information to prevent homelessness
·Identifying households at risk of homelessness early
·Intervening before homelessness occurs
·Preventing recurring homelessness
·Working with partner agencies

These were chosen based on government guidance and feedback from an engagement event with partner organisations.

Each theme is summarised throughout this survey and you can read the whole strategy here.

Providing advice and information to prevent homelessness

The providing advice and information to prevent homelessness theme aims to ensure residents and organisations know they can contact our homelessness service at Kingsley House. It aims to give relevant partner organisations enough information to enable them to signpost their customers to homelessness services. Our earlier work indicated that people may not know where to go for information and would like information on our website, in our contact centres and in Medway Matters.
  To what extent do you agree or disagree that providing advice and information to prevent homelessness is the right theme for the strategy?
 

Identifying households at risk of homelessness early

This theme will help us to identify people at risk of homelessness early. This is important as research has shown that some groups of people are more likely to be at risk of homelessness than others and we want to ensure that the information is available for them at the earliest point.

The government has placed a duty on some organisations to tell the homeless service when they become aware that a household or individual is at risk of homelessness. It is likely that some other organisations will become aware that someone is at risk of homelessness and those organisations also need to know how to tell people about the homelessness service.
This theme will ensure the duty refer systems work to support those at higher risk of homelessness and also encourage organisations without a duty to refer to signpost clients to the homelessness service. It will encourage organisations addressing anti-social behaviour to consider whether mental health needs may play a part in the behaviour and make referrals where people may be at risk of homelessness.
  To what extent do you agree or disagree that identifying households at risk of homelessness early is the right theme for the strategy?
 

Intervening before homelessness occurs

Intervening before homelessness occurs is important. It is often possible to prevent homelessness when the homelessness service are able to work with individuals / households and their landlords in the eight weeks before they are due to become homeless. Helping people to remain in their current home reduces potential disruption to schooling and employment which could happen if they lost their home and had to move to a new one.  

Supporting vulnerable individuals is important. Prisons, and related support services, work to help prepare offenders to find a home on release and liaise with the homelessness service on this. Care leavers are supported by a personal advisor to the age of 25 and this includes considering their accommodation needs.

This theme will help prevent homelessness in all households and particularly in groups of people known to be more vulnerable to homelessness and rough sleeping.
  To what extent do you agree or disagree that intervening before homelessness occurs is the right theme for the strategy?
 

Preventing recurring homelessness

Preventing recurring homelessness is an important area because some vulnerable people are more likely to experience repeated periods of homelessness. This includes people who have difficulties budgeting, sofa surfers, ex-offenders, and rough sleepers.

Medway Council commissions supported housing and other organisations also provide supported accommodation that helps adults develop to live independently.

Organisations supporting homeless people work together to help people find the right support to find accommodation and to maintain their accommodation.

Medway Council has funding from the Ministry and Housing, Communities and Local Government to help rough sleepers until March 2020 but it is unclear how this will be funded from April 2020.
  To what extent do you agree or disagree that preventing recurring homelessness is the right theme for the strategy?
 

Working with partner agencies

Medway Council must continue to work with partner agencies to ensure homeless individuals / households get all the types of support they need. It recognises the valuable contributions these agencies make to supporting vulnerable people.

The Homelessness Forum has members from health services, emergency services, drug and alcohol services, supported housing providers, voluntary organisations and services supported ex-offenders to share good practice and promote co-operation.

The Community Safety Partnership brings agencies together to work on issues including anti-social behaviour and begging to ensure the needs of the individual are identified and addressed.

This theme ensures we will continue to work with our partners to support our residents.
  To what extent do you agree or disagree that working with partner agencies is the right theme for the strategy?
 

Any other considerations

 
 

About you

  Are you responding as

About your organisation

 
  Are you happy to provide a contact name and email address for us to discuss your response with you?

Your details would only be used to contact you about your organisation's reponse. You do not have to provide these details to be able to complete the survey
  Please provide a contact name and email address
   
   

About you

Medway is committed to consulting with all its residents and so, to ensure that all groups within the community have the opportunity to participate, we would appreciate it if you could provide us with the following information. The information provided will remain private and confidential and will not be used for any other purpose. You are under no obligation to provide the following information and it will not affect your response if you choose not to.

  Are you?
 
 
  In which of the following age bands do you fall?
 
 
 
 
 
 
  What is your ethnic group?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  Do you have any long-standing health problem or disability? Long-standing means anything that has lasted, or is expected to last, at least 12 months.
 
 

Your response

Thank you for completing this survey, the results of which will be used to inform the final Homelessness and Rough Sleeper Strategy 2019-24.

Please press the submit button below to send us your views
After you press submit you will be taken to the Medway Council website.

 
   
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