Housing-led Feasibility Study for Oxfordshire - Full Report Authors: Imogen Blood, Mark Goldup, Anita Birchall, Shelly Dulson and Chloë Hands

Summary Report

Study for
Full Report

Authors: Imogen Blood, Mark Goldup, Anita Birchall,
Shelly Dulson and Chloë Hands

November 2020
ii     Housing-led Feasibility Study for Oxfordshire                                                                                                              iii

                                                                                                   Study for
     The study investigated the feasibility of Oxfordshire moving to and implementing a housing-
     led response to homelessness in its county. It was commissioned and funded by Crisis
     and the Oxfordshire district councils of Cherwell, West Oxfordshire, Oxford City, South
     Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse. It was overseen by a steering group made up of       Full Report
     representatives from those councils and was conducted by Imogen Blood & Associates.

                                                                                                   Written by Imogen Blood, Mark Goldup, Anita Birchall, Shelly
                                                                                                   Dulson and Chloë Hands

                                                                                                   Commissioned by Crisis, with funding from Crisis and the
                                                                                                   Oxfordshire councils

                                                                                                   November 2020
iv   Housing-led Feasibility Study for Oxfordshire                                                                          v


                                                     1. Introduction to the study                                      1
                                                     1.1. This commission                                              1
                                                     1.2. W
                                                           hat is a ‘housing-led approach’?                           1
                                                     1.3 Single people and families facing homelessness               4
                                                     1.4 Our approach                                                  4
                                                     1.5 Structure of this report                                      6

                                                     2. Summary of Recommendations                                     7
                                                         Long-term fundamental priorities                              7
                                                         Shorter-term practical actions                                8

                                                     3. T
                                                         he current provision of housing-related support to those
                                                        experiencing or at risk of homelessness in Oxfordshire         10
                                                     3.1. Transitional supported housing                               12
                                                     3.2. Housing First                                                14
                                                          What is Housing First?                                       15
                                                     3.3. Estimated current spending                                   16

                                                     4. The case for change                                            17
                                                     4.1. The traumatised system                                       17
                                                     4.2. H
                                                           ow is the homelessness system across
                                                          Oxfordshire performing?                                      18
                                                     4.3. Lived experiences of the homelessness system                 20
                                                     4.4. The cost benefits of preventing and ending homelessness      22
                                                     5.1. Where do people want to live?                                25

                                                     5. Access to housing                                              25
                                                     5.2. W
                                                           hat barriers and challenges do people currently
                                                          face in accessing housing?                                   26
                                                     5.3. Access to social housing allocations                         27
                                                          Recommendations                                              31
                                                     5.4. An assessment of housing supply for single homeless people   33

                 Crisis head office
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                 London E1 6LT
                 Tel: 0300 636 1967
                 Fax: 0300 636 2012

                 © Crisis 2020

                 Crisis UK (trading as Crisis).
                 Registered Charity Numbers:
                 E&W1082947, SC040094.
                 Company Number: 4024938
vi   Housing-led Feasibility Study for Oxfordshire                                                                                                           vii


                 6. What is ‘good support’?                                         37   Appendix 1: Provision of existing Housing Support Services     74
                 6.1. The lived experience                                          37
                 6.2. The need for a gendered approach                              40   Appendix 2: Glossary                                           81
                      How women’s needs differ from men’s                           40
                      Why the systems should be better for women                    41   Appendix 3: Financial narrative: assumptions and methodology   84
                      What a gendered approach looks like                           42   1. Summary                                                     84
                 6.3. Access to healthcare                                          42   2. Recommendations that impact on financial narrative          85
                 6.4. Professionals’ views about support                            43   3. Financial modelling approach                                86
                                                                                         4. Changes in where people first present                       88
                 7. What might a ‘housing-led’ approach look like                       5. Financial Impact                                            89
                    in Oxfordshire?                                                 46   6. Reducing the rough lleeper population                       94
                 7.1. Prevention                                                    47   7. Comparison to existing financial footprint                  96
                 7.2. The response to those experiencing homelessness               51
                 7.2.1 The ‘hidden’ homeless                                        51
                 7.2.2. Overview of the housing-led response to homelessness        51
                 7.2.3. Multi-agency casework: ‘the By Name List approach’          52
                 7.2.4. Assessment Hub: ‘the way in’                                54
                 7.3. A menu of housing and support options                         56
                 7.3.1 Housing First                                                56
                 7.3.2. Rapid rehousing, with support as needed                     57
                 7.3.3. Provision of additional support                             58
                      Medium-long term supported housing                            58
                      Emergency and temporary accommodation                         59

                 8. I s a housing-led approach potentially affordable within the
                     current financial footprint?                                   61
                        Conclusions                                                 63

                 9. How might we get from here to there?                            64
                 9.1. Strategic alignment across pathways                           64
                 9.2. Re-thinking commissioning                                     65
                      Dialogue rather than competition                              65
                 9.3. Bringing the voices of people with lived experience
                      into service design                                           66
                 9.4. Commissioning for change and flexibility                      67
                 9.5. A different way of managing performance                       68
                 9.6. Transforming and developing the workforce                     68
                 9.7. An evidence-informed approach                                 69
                 9.8. Effective countywide governance of homelessness               71
                 9.9. Recommendations based on the Housing First principles         72
1   Housing-led Feasibility Study for Oxfordshire                                                                                                                                                                              Summary Report   2

               1. Introduction
               to the study
                1.1. This commission                                 • Collaboration with the steering group
                This report presents the findings of                   to advise on research design, findings                                                                       The Principles behind a Housing-
                a study exploring the feasibility of                   and implications for operationalising                                                                        Led (Housing First) approach
                moving to a housing-led approach to                    the conclusions from the study.
                tackling single homelessness across                                                                                                                                 • People have a right to a home
                Oxfordshire. It was commissioned by                  The study ran from January to                                                                                  •	Flexible support is provided for
                Crisis and the Oxfordshire Countywide                October 2020 and was delivered by                                                                                 as long as it is needed
                Homelessness Steering Group and                      Imogen Blood, Mark Goldup, Anita                                                                               •	Housing and support are
                conducted by a team of independent                   Birchall, Shelly Dulson and Chloë                                                                                 separated
                research consultants at Imogen Blood                 Hands at IBA, supported by Kate Farrell                                                                        •	Individuals have choice
                & Associates (IBA) (www.imogenblood.                 and Lewis Haines at Crisis.                          Housing First works best when it                             and control
                co.uk). The study was funded by Crisis,                                                                   functions as part of an integrated,                       •	The service is based on people’s
                Oxford City Council, Cherwell, South                 1.2. W
                                                                           hat is a ‘housing-led                         multi-agency homelessness strategy,                          strengths, goals and aspirations
                Oxfordshire, Vale of White Horse and                      approach’?                                      alongside prevention, and low intensity                   •	An active engagement approach
                West Oxfordshire District Councils.                  A Housing-Led or Rapid Rehousing                     emergency accommodation services:3                           is used
                                                                     approach to ending homelessness                                                                                •	A harm reduction approach
                The research was commissioned to                     aims to move people into their own                     “An integrated homelessness                                is used
                cover the following main elements:                   homes as quickly as possible and                       strategy, characterised by
                                                                     provide them with the support they                     extensive interagency working,
                                                                                                                                                                                  Housing First England: The Principles of Housing
                • Construction of an operational                     need to make it work1. The approach                    uses preventative services and a                      First 2017
                  model to consult with local                        seeks to minimise the amount of time                   range of homelessness services (of
                  stakeholders for the delivery of                   spent in temporary accommodation                       which Housing First services are                      Housing-led is a whole system
                  a housing-led approach across                      and the number of transitions a person                 one group) to effectively meet the                    approach, which seeks to apply the
                  Oxfordshire;                                       has to make before they move into a                    diverse needs of single homeless                      principles of Housing First model to
                                                                     permanent home.                                        people”. (p.iii)4                                     all those experiencing or at risk of
                • Consultation and peer research                                                                                                                                  homelessness.
                  with people with lived experience of               Housing First is one type of housing-                Only a relatively small number of single
                  homelessness in the area;                          led model, and this is specifically                  people experiencing homelessness                        The following table suggests what
                                                                     designed for those with the highest                  need Housing First; however, a                          it might mean to apply each of the
                • Analysis of the policy and practice                and most complex needs. As the                       housing-led approach recognises that                    Housing First principles to the whole
                  implications of the model to                       following graphic – developed by                     the principles underlying the Housing                   homelessness system.
                  understand how it would work                       Homeless Network Scotland2 – shows,                  First model can and should benefit all
                  across Oxfordshire;                                Housing First is one type of housing-                those who are experiencing or at risk
                                                                     led solution, aimed at those with the                of homelessness.
                • Analysis on the costs of                           most complex needs.
                  implementing a new housing-led
                  model and transitional arrangements
                                                                                                                          3	Blood, I., Copeman, I., Goldup, M., Pleace, N., Bretherton, J. and Dulson, S. (2017). Housing First
                                                                                                                             Feasibility Study for the Liverpool City Region. London: Crisis UK. [Online]. Available at: https://www.
                1	Downie, M. (2017). Plan to end homelessness. London: Crisis UK. [Online]. Available at: https://www.      crisis.org.uk/media/237545/housing_first_feasibility_study_for_the_liverpool_city_region_2017.pdf
                   crisis.org.uk/ending-homelessness/the-plan-to-end-homelessness-full-version/executive-summary/         4	Pleace, N. (2018). Using Housing First in Integrated Homelessness Strategies: A Review of the Evidence.
                2	Scotland Rapid Rehousing Guidance https://homelessnetwork.scot/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/rapid-          York: University of York. [Online]. Available at: https://www.mungos.org/app/uploads/2018/02/ST_
                   rehousing-guidance.pdf                                                                                    Mungos_HousingFirst_Report_2018.pdf.
3   Housing-led Feasibility Study for Oxfordshire                                                                                                                                                                                Summary Report   4
                A whole system approach                                                                                   1.3 Single people and families facing                    family homelessness. A fully housing-
                                                                                                                          homelessness                                             led approach can benefit all those
                 Housing First                                                                                            Our brief was to focus on single                         facing homelessness, regardless of
                 principle                                                                                                households. Single people made up                        their household composition.
                 People have a right    Bolstering the supply of affordable housing options and keeping any
                                                                                                                          51% of all homelessness presentations
                 to a home              evictions to an absolute minimum.                                                 across Oxfordshire in 2018/19 (rising                    1.4 Our approach
                                        Removing the conditionality from the system, e.g. so people do not have           to 60% in Oxford city). Although family                  Key data collection activities have
                                        to first prove they are tenancy ready, thereby earning the right to a home.       homelessness is also a key challenge                     included:
                                        The system views housing as a human right.                                        in Oxfordshire, the responses to the
                 Flexible support       Our need for support naturally fluctuates; it is almost impossible to predict     homelessness experienced by single                       • Development and population of
                 is provided for as     exactly how much support an individual will need, around which issues             households and those with dependent                        a model showing flows of single
                 long as it is needed   and for how long. Yet support for those experiencing homelessness tends
                                                                                                                          children are somewhat different,                           homeless households through
                                        to be commissioned in time-limited blocks; some people experience
                                        ‘cliff-edges’ where support suddenly ends, some may be over-supported             not least because of the stronger                          the homelessness system across
                                        at times. Instead, a housing-led system allows for support to flex around a       duties which local authorities have                        Oxfordshire.
                                        person in their own home when they need it.                                       to accommodate households with
                 Housing and            This separation means that the housing offer is not dependent on the              dependent children. This means that                      • Peer research co-produced
                 support are            support offer; so if the support comes to an end, the person does                 families with dependent children                           with the LEAF (Lived Experience
                 separated              not have to move. Conversely, a person does not have to move into a               and pregnant women who are                                 Advisory Forum); 30 interviews with
                                        buildings-based project in order to access support; and the support               homeless tend to be placed in self-                        people (6 of whom were women
                                        relationship can stay with a person where they want or need to move.
                                        Separating the support from the landlord function can also help to clarify        contained temporary or permanent                           and 2 of whom were from BAME
                                        the role of different workers, thereby building better relationships (in our      accommodation (rather than in                              backgrounds, with ages ranging
                                        research with people using the system, some felt staff are more interested        settings with shared facilities) as                        from 20s to 70s) in Oxford city
                                        in the building than the people).                                                 quickly as possible, and should not be                     experiencing homelessness were
                 Individuals have       Choice is often designed out of the service response to single homeless           at risk of rough sleeping. The response                    conducted, transcribed and analysed
                 choice and control     people: people are ‘placed’, ‘sent’, ‘signposted’ and, if very lucky, ‘housed’.   to homeless families is, at least in                       during July and August 2020.
                                        Research suggests that increasing a person’s sense of choice and control          terms of the recognition of housing as
                                        improves their outcomes5 and that services are less effective when they
                                        are “done to people”.
                                                                                                                          a human right, more ‘housing led’ than                   • Analysis of quantitative and
                                        Instead, a housing-led system treats people experiencing homelessness             the response to single households,                         qualitative data contained in the
                                        as adults and citizens.                                                           since there is a consensus that getting                    86 Strengths-based Needs
                 The service is         Seeing the person as a survivor, as an individual, as a person, rather than a     a family into their own stable home                        Assessments collected and shared
                 based on people’s      problem to be managed, and recognising that everyone has strengths.               as quickly as possible should be                           with us by Oxfordshire councils
                 strengths, goals       In a housing-led approach, we move from assessments which focus on                the priority. However, the response                        with those placed in emergency
                 and aspirations        risks, needs and eligibility to more creative assessments which recognise         to homeless families is often not                          accommodation during ‘Everyone
                                        the strengths, resources and relationships the person brings to the
                                                                                                                          consistent with the remaining Housing                      In7 ’.
                                        situation and works with them to consider how they can build on these.
                                                                                                                          First principles, e.g. promoting choice
                 An active              Recognising that services are often ‘hard-to-reach’, and that closing
                                                                                                                          and control and offering flexible,                       • Stakeholder engagement to
                 engagement             the case of a person who is experiencing homelessness, substance
                 approach is used       use or mental health challenges because they behave in a way we find              strengths-based support for as long as                     consider the provision of support,
                                        challenging is often counter-productive.                                          is needed.                                                 involving a total of 60 professionals
                                        Instead, professionals are responsible for proactively engaging their                                                                        and citizens:
                                        clients; making the service fit the individual instead of trying to make the      Although our study did not consider
                                        individual fit the service.6                                                      the data, lived experience, policies                          • a workshop including all
                 A harm reduction       Recognising that abstinence from substance use and other potentially              or practice in relation to family                               commissioned providers;
                 approach is used       harmful behaviours is not desirable and/or realistic for many at this             homelessness in Oxfordshire, we are                           • a series of 3 x 2-hour online
                                        point in time, and that these individuals may disengage if pressured into
                                        abstinence by professionals.                                                      aware of a recent service redesign                              group discussions;
                                        Instead, workers support individuals to set their own goals and develop           in Children’s Services, which aims                            • an online survey (collecting
                                        their own strategies to manage risk.                                              to improve housing solutions to                                 qualitative views) to which a
                                        A housing-led approach recognises the harm that comes from all forms              vulnerable families. We believe that                            further 33 responded,
                                        of homelessness (especially rough sleeping) and seeks to reduce this by           some of the key messages from this                            • supplementary 'phone interviews
                                        avoiding homelessness or by supporting a person to exit homelessness as
                                                                                                                          report can inform the Oxfordshire
                                        quickly as possible.
                                                                                                                          authorities’ ongoing improvement
                                                                                                                          of how they prevent and respond to
                5	Manning, R.M. and Greenwood, R.M. (2019). Recovery in Homelessness: The Influence of Choice and
                   Mastery on Physical Health, Psychiatric Symptoms, Alcohol and Drug Use, and Community Integration.
                   Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal, 42(2), pp. 1-11. DOI: 10.1037/prj0000350                           7   ‘Everyone In’ is the term given to the government-funded initiative to ensure all rough sleepers and those
                6	Homeless Link. (2017). Housing First in England: The Principles. London: Homeless Link. [Online].            with shared air space in homelessness accommodation were given ‘safe harbour’ during the Covid-19
                   Available at: https://hfe.homeless.org.uk/sites/default/files/attachments/The%20Principles%20for%20          outbreak in spring 2020.
5   Housing-led Feasibility Study for Oxfordshire                                                                                                     Summary Report   6
                • An exercise to map and bring              • A financial narrative based on            1.5 Structure of this report
                  together basic data about units, type       running on a hypothetical scenario to     A summary version of this report is also
                  of provision, cost, provider, referrals     compare flows of homeless people          available at https://www.crisis.org.uk/
                  and outcomes for all homelessness           through the system during 2018/19         media/243746/crisis_oxfordshire_
                  support services commissioned               with what might have happened if a        report_summary.pdf
                  across the county (including mental         different set of service configurations
                  health and young people’s pathways).        had been in place.                        This full report includes the following
                • A review of Oxfordshire councils’         • Sharing and gathering feedback on
                  social housing allocation                   the emerging headlines and initial        Chapter 2: in which we summarise the
                  policies and move-on protocols,             recommendations during October.           key recommendations for Oxfordshire
                  benchmarked nationally using CORE           This included:
                  data, national research findings and                                                  Chapter 3: in which we give an overview
                  review of a selection of policies from        • Producing a high level summary        of the current provision of housing-
                  other authorities.                              document and circulating this for     related support to single households
                                                                  comments from the Countywide          facing homelessness across the county;
                • Review of relevant documents and a              Homelessness Steering Group;
                  series of interviews and meetings to                                                  Chapter 4: in which we present the case
                  understand issues and opportunities           • Presentations and discussions         for changing the system, based on the
                  in relation to housing supply.                  at: Providers’ Forum; Lived           lived experience research findings, overall
                                                                  Experience Advisory Forum;            system performance, and wider evidence
                • A review of housing data (including             a session on Workforce                about the costs of homelessness to
                  social rented/affordable lettings,              Transformation held by the            public services.
                  Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates,            County Council; Oxford’s
                  analysis of house sale prices).                 Housing & Homelessness group          Chapter 5: in which we consider people’s
                                                                  meeting; a webinar hosted by          experiences and aspirations in relation
                • Review of prevention activities                 Oxfordshire Homelessness              to accessing housing, and present the
                  undertaken by each district/city                Forum; a short radio interview        findings of our review of Oxfordshire’s
                  council, analysis of H-CLIC and other           for JACKfm Oxfordshire; Mental        social housing allocations and a summary
                  outcome, research and audit data                Health Housing, Care and              of the key opportunities and risks to
                  relevant to prevention; desk-based              Support project commissioning         bolstering housing options.
                  benchmarking with other authorities             workstream; and an additional
                  nationally to identify best practice.           session with commissioned             Chapter 6: in which consider what ‘good
                                                                  providers following the Providers’    support’ looks like, from the perspectives
                • Alignment with health, social care              Forum.                                of people receiving it, professionals and
                  and safeguarding: interviews/                                                         research evidence.
                  meetings with public health,              We recognise a few limitations in our
                  Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning        engagement. Regrettably, we were            Chapter 7: in which we present our vision
                  Group, Oxford Health, Vale Adult          not able within the time and resources      for a housing-led approach, looking both
                  Social care, and substance use            of the study and given the impact of        at the prevention of and the response to
                  services and a review of relevant         Covid-19, to engage:                        homelessness.
                  local research and strategies.                                                        Chapter 8: in which we discuss in
                                                            • Elected members;                          more detail how Oxfordshire might
                • Action learning from Everyone                                                         transition to a housing-led approach and
                  In and rapid rehousing: attending         • Colleagues from the criminal justice      the recommended next steps for the
                  meetings, working closely with local        system; and                               authorities and their partners.
                  authorities, interviews or group
                  sessions with each council to capture     • People with lived experience of           Appendix 1: Provision of existing housing
                  action learning, structured sessions        homelessness outside of Oxford            support services
                  to record action learning from              city (though the analysis of forms
                  Crisis’ work to support Strengths-          completed during Everyone In              Appendix 2: Glossary
                  based Needs Assessment and triage           mitigated this to a degree).
                  processes.                                                                            Appendix 3: Financial narrative
7   Housing-led Feasibility Study for Oxfordshire                                                                                                                                   Summary Report   8

                2. Summary of                                                                      Housing supply
                                                                                                   Develop a countywide strategy to
                                                                                                   increase the supply of a range of
                                                                                                   affordable housing options for single
                                                                                                                                                • Introducing effective systems to
                                                                                                                                                  monitor exclusions from the register,
                                                                                                                                                  and any nominations refused by
                                                                                                                                                  Registered Providers;

                                                                                                   homeless households across the
                                                                                                   county. We have highlighted some of          • Using this data to review allocations
                                                                                                   the opportunities and risks in section         policies and nominations
                                                                                                   5.4. As part of this strategy:                 agreements;

                                                                                                   • Promote more consistent access             • Working with social landlords to
                                                                                                     to and sustainment of tenancies              find alternatives to blanket bans to
                                                                                                     in the Private Rented Sector for             manage risk;
                In a successful housing-led system:       Long-term fundamental priorities           this group, working in partnership
                                                                                                     with the Social Enterprise sector          • Establishing a reasonable preference
                • All opportunities are maximised         Prevention                                 and the Oxfordshire Homelessness             group for those with a history of/at
                  to prevent people from becoming         Increasing investment in evidence-         Movement.                                    risk of rough sleeping; and
                  homeless in the first place.            based prevention, underpinned by
                                                          a countywide and multi-agency            • Review the designation of 1-bed            • Adopting targets in the Annual
                • Those who do become homeless            homelessness prevention strategy.          properties for older people; consider        Lettings Plan for the number of
                  are supported into stable, ordinary                                                within or alongside this the feasibility     allocations made to those with
                  housing as quickly as possible,         Our recommendations are detailed in        of creating a scheme of long-term            additional support needs.
                  recognising that the longer a person    section 7.1 and include:                   but ‘own front door’ supported
                  is without a home, the more negative                                               housing for those whose needs              Shorter-term practical actions
                  the impacts for both the individual     • Encouraging a consistent tenancy         are currently not well-met by either
                  and society.                              sustainment offer from social            homelessness or adult social care          Governance
                                                            landlords, and looking at whether        services.                                  Effective countywide and multi-
                • Those with more complex needs             and how tenancy sustainment might                                                   agency governance to oversee
                  who have experienced or are at            be extended to private rented sector   • Work with housing and support              the transition and to ensure a
                  risk of long term homelessness            and their landlords.                     providers to roll out and develop a        whole system approach, linking
                  and housing instability are actively                                               consistent and high fidelity model         for example to the Primary Care
                  engaged through multi-agency            • Better use of data, underpinned          of Housing First across the county         Networks, work to promote financial
                  casework, including, for some, a          by effective data-sharing protocols,     (see section 3.2).                         inclusion, neighbourhood community
                  Housing First approach. Agencies          to proactively target individuals,                                                  development and the Development
                  work together to minimise the             maintain higher levels of contact,     • Bring together and explore ways to         Plan.
                  numbers of people who drop out of         and evaluate outcomes.                   scale up and/or replicate the wide
                  the system.                                                                        range of options and activities to         In section 9.8, we recommend:
                                                          • Sustained or ideally increased           promote housing supply within the
                • Support is provided to those who          investment by councils to keep           community, faith and voluntary             • A senior and multi-agency
                  need it in a flexible, person-centred     people in their homes where safe         sectors.                                     Homelessness Reduction Board – or
                  and strengths-based way, regardless       and possible to do so, e.g. through                                                   similar model - operating at county-
                  of where they are currently living.       mediation with landlords, financial    • Ensure that the housing-led                  level to drive this forward.
                                                            assistance, housing advice and           approach informs the countywide
                • All those working in the relevant         community navigators: this is likely     programme of housing and spatial           • Strong project management to
                  services recognise the impact of          to become even more important as a       development.                                 ensure that actions are followed
                  trauma on individuals and recognise       result of the pandemic.                                                               through.
                  that maximising choice and control is                                            Housing allocations
                  key to recovery.                        • Linking the current countywide         Reducing the additional barriers to          Re-thinking commissioning
                                                            floating support contract more         accessing social housing faced by            In order to transition to a housing-led
                • Data and feedback from people with        clearly to Housing Options             those in acute housing need especially       system, it will be necessary to replace
                  lived experience is used to monitor       prevention activity and outcomes.      those who have additional support            a significant proportion of congregate
                  and improve the performance of the                                               needs. Our recommendations are               with dispersed supported housing.
                  whole system.                           • Using the existing Homelessness        detailed in Section 5.3 and include:         As discussed in section 9, to achieve
                                                            Champions Network as an asset                                                       this in a positive way which builds
                                                            from which to build a countywide                                                    on existing assets and relationships
                                                            prevention strategy.                                                                between commissioners and providers
9   Housing-led Feasibility Study for Oxfordshire                                                                                                                                       Summary Report   10
                locally, it will be important to:

                • Engage in dialogue with providers
                  and involve with providers and
                                                            • Develop a new countywide
                                                              Assessment Hub model to
                                                              coordinate the By Name List
                                                              approach and provide an accessible
                                                                                                         3. The current
                  the involvement of people with
                  lived experience and community
                                                              and inclusive gateway into services
                                                              for those who are homeless. We
                                                              describe this in more detail in section
                                                                                                         provision of
                • Move away from a competitive,
                  traditional contracts model, to an        • Review data collection in relation
                  alliance-style model, where a range         to single homelessness, setting

                                                                                                         support to those
                  of providers are incentivised to            up countywide systems which
                  work together and are collectively          can support the By Name list, and
                  accountable for results;                    strategic information to inform
                                                              continuous improvement, through

                • Build into the contract the required        a set of whole-system performance
                  transition to a housing-led model           indicators. Gather feedback regularly
                  and the flexibility to review and adapt     from people with lived experience as
                  regularly, and ensuring the contract        well as quantitative data. We describe

                                                                                                         or at risk of
                  is long enough to enable this;              this in more detail in section 9.7.

                • Develop performance management            Workforce
                  which focuses on the quality of           Workforce development will be key
                  service users’ experience; case
                  management via the By Name
                  List; and ‘whole system indicators’
                  (such as successful referrals to
                                                            to creating and sustaining a culture of
                                                            positive risk, giving back choice and
                                                            control to individuals, and supporting
                                                            them to exit homelessness. This
                                                                                                         homelessness in
                  support, managed moves rather
                  than evictions, moves to settled
                                                            needs to include strengths-based,
                                                            trauma- and psychologically-informed
                                                            approaches and should be informed
                                                            by lived experience.
                • Strategically align the adults’, young
                  people’s and mental health pathways,      We propose an initial skills matrix
                  so all are operating consistently         for further development in section           Understanding the existing resources         There are separately commissioned
                  within housing-led principles             9.6, and recommend that each                 is a necessary first step to system          ‘pathways’ for mental health, young
                                                            commissioned provider be required to         re-design. Our countywide mapping            people, and adult homelessness. Each
                System-wide case management                 train staff to this level, and participate   identified a considerable amount of          pathway and authority is collecting
                This is core recommendation if people       in communities of practice to share          activity – both commissioned by the          slightly different data under different
                are to be supported into, and within, a     and further develop good practice.           councils and delivered independently         categories, so there is no consistent
                stable housing solution, and in order                                                    by charities, social enterprises and faith   approach to understanding the
                to reduce the current high level of                                                      groups - to both prevent and respond         scale of the problem. Provision
                ‘dropout’ from the system. It will be                                                    to homelessness across Oxfordshire.          is ever-changing, with additional
                important to:                                                                            We sought to gather data on as much          capacity being added/services being
                                                                                                         of this provision as possible. This          decommissioned or re-designed
                • Develop effective multi-agency                                                         exercise was complex because:                in some way, generally in response
                  case management throughout the                                                                                                      to either cuts or short-term central
                  system, with Personal Housing                                                          • The two-tier authority structure,          government, a point to which we
                  Plans at the prevention stage, and                                                       combined with additional layers of         return in the next chapter. Even within
                  the By Name List approach to case                                                        services commissioned a) jointly           this, 2020 has been highly atypical,
                  management for those experiencing                                                        by the districts and b) with Rough         with the pandemic forcing changes
                  homelessness. We describe this                                                           Sleeper Initiative funding, makes it       and closures to existing and planned
                  approach in more detail in section                                                       challenging – but also particularly        services, and giving rise to new funding
                  7.2.3.                                                                                   important - to understand the whole,       streams from central government.
                                                                                                           countywide picture.
11   Housing-led Feasibility Study for Oxfordshire                                                                                                                                                                               Summary Report   12
                 Overview of service provision in                         experiencing homelessness;
                 Oxfordshire                                                                                                                             The Service Landscape
                                                                        • Four street outreach services (one of
                 The mapping activity identified:                         which is run by the Police);
                                                                                                                                 Preventing                          Responding to
                 • Over 1110 units or bed spaces of                     • Two exemplar tenancy sustainment                       homelessness                        homelessness
                   what might best be described as                        services, offered by Oxford City
                   ‘transitional’ supported housing8                      Council (as landlord) and Soha
                   across Oxfordshire, targeted at adults                 housing association                                    • Housing Advice                    • Street outreach                   • Access to PRS
                   and young people experiencing                                                                                                                                                           Housing
                   homelessness and/or mental health                    • A number of services offering                          • Resilience building               • Emergency housing
                   challenges. This includes a number                     additional (or ‘floating’) support,                                                                                            • Housing First
                   of hostels, including a large hostel                   including Aspire’s countywide                          • Tenancy sustainment               • Supported housing
                   in the centre of Oxford with more                      Community Navigators and                                                                                                       • Resettlement
                   than 50 beds, and many shared                          Connection Support who offer                                                               • Day services                        support
                   house projects (especially in the                      mental health support services as
                   mental health pathway). Just 8% of                     part of the Oxfordshire Mental Health
                   ‘units’ involve floating support i.e.                  Partnership as well as more general                 There is clearly a lot of positive work                This is not unusual and can be a
                   support which could be provided                        housing support.                                    across the county, and there are                       natural reaction to high levels of
                   independently of housing.                                                                                  many assets to build on. However,                      homelessness; however, a key
                                                                        • Health also fund a number of                        this is hampered by a high level of                    message of this report is that a move
                 • Several ‘Housing First’ pilots and                     relevant initiatives, including the                 silo-based working – geographically,                   to a housing-led approach will require
                   projects, offering up to 30 tenancies                  Luther Street Medical Practice,                     between agencies, and even within                      a more coherent focus on both
                   in total at the time of writing, with                  offering primary health services to                 larger organisations – and by a lack                   preventing and supporting single
                   more planned. We discuss these in                      those experiencing homelessness                     of consistent data collection against                  people out of homelessness and into
                   more detail in section 3.2.                            in the centre of Oxford; two short-                 which outcomes and progress can be                     stable housing.
                                                                          term step-down houses (for those                    monitored across the whole system.
                 • A number of schemes to support                         who are homeless on discharge from                  There has been a lot of incremental                    The adult homeless pathway is a
                   access to the private rented sector,                   general or psychiatric hospitals) and               development of provision across                        partnership between the county
                   run both by councils and by charities;                 embedded housing workers.                           the county to in response to central                   council, city council, district councils
                                                                                                                              government funding programmes.                         and the Clinical Commissioning Group
                 • A range of daytime services offering                 • Oxfordshire Homelessness                            But until now, there does not appear                   to jointly fund 140 units of supported
                   food and both practical and                            Movement is a countywide                            to have been a meaningful attempt to                   housing, for those with a connection
                   emotional support;                                     partnership of public, private and                  look at the entire system.                             to an Oxfordshire council. Around half
                                                                          charitable organisations with the                                                                          of these units are in hostels, with the
                 • Prior to Covid-19, a number of                         vision that nobody should have to                   3.1. Transitional supported housing                    remainder in smaller shared settings or
                   initiatives to provide emergency                       sleep rough on our streets. The                     There is considerable activity in                      with floating support.
                   accommodation, mostly during                           movement aims to coordinate efforts                 Oxfordshire to prevent people
                   winter months;                                         across sector and to supplement                     becoming homeless. However, far                        Although the pooling of budgets
                                                                          statutory provision in a strategic way,             greater focus and investment goes into                 across the county in this way is a
                 • Housing Advice services,                               for example responding to those with                responding to homelessness, usually                    positive step, there appears to be an
                   commissioned by all the district                       No Recourse to Public Funds.                        through the default of transitional                    emerging consensus that change is
                   councils and provided by Shelter,                                                                          supported housing (a hostel or other                   needed within this pathway. Issues
                   CAB and the Wantage Advice Centre;                   The different types of service provision              congregate setting) In 2018/19, there                  highlighted through our engagement
                                                                        are summarised in the following                       were 1420 placements in supported                      included: the concentration of
                 • At least 18 services which provide                   diagram; key terms are defined in the                 housing of people who would                            pathway provision in a large hostel in
                   assistance around income                             glossary (Appendix 2), and further                    otherwise be homeless9 across the                      Oxford city and the impact of this on
                   maximisation, debt management,                       detail about the current provision                    county (830 of whom were already                       the movement of people experiencing
                   education, employment, skills                        of each of these types of service is                  living in supported housing at the start               homelessness away from their local
                   development, mental health;                          supplied in Appendix 1. It should be                  of the year).                                          areas; and challenges for providers
                   substance use, family mediation, or                  noted that not all of these services                                                                         and commissioners operating a
                   countering social isolation, with a                  are available across the county, for
                   particular focus on those at risk of or              example street outreach.                              9    For the purposes of the research, we have included 75% of the placements and people in the mental
                                                                                                                              health pathway; there is clearly significant (though not complete) overlap between the mental health and
                                                                                                                              homelessness pathway. This is based on data from Oxfordshire mental health services estimating that 75% of
                 8   Johns, M. and Longlands, S. (2020). At a Crossroads: The Future of Transitional Supported Housing.       those coming through their pathway are at risk of homelessness/ would otherwise be homeless.
                 London: IPPR North. [Online]. Available at: https://www.ippr.org/files/2020-10/supported-housing-oct20.pdf
13   Housing-led Feasibility Study for Oxfordshire                                                                                                                                                           Summary Report   14
                 number of different contracts for the                    In the mental health pathway in                        One of the limitations of the             3.2. Housing First
                 same project. Moreover, the pathway                      particular, there appears to be a lack                 congregate model is that trying to        Housing First is emerging across
                 operates on a very traditional ‘staircase’               of diversity, with all provision being in              support multiple individuals within       Oxfordshire – at the time of writing,
                 model10: people are required to remain                   shared houses.                                         the same building requires rules and      there were 5 schemes offering
                 in the pathway for at least 6 months to                                                                         eligibility criteria in order to manage   somewhere between 25 and 30
                 prove tenancy readiness before they                      The following chart shows the type                     risk. As one professional in a focus      tenancies in total, but with more in
                 can apply for assistance to move-on11.                   of housing-related support being                       group explained:                          development. As with many early
                 As one professional attending a focus                    commissioned in each pathway.                                                                    or new Housing First services,
                 group commented:                                         ‘Supported housing other’ includes                      “Lots of supported housing projects      these deliver promising indications;
                                                                          supported housing commissioned                          will only take people who meet           however, when viewed strategically
                   “Why are we designing services                         by city and districts outside of the                    certain criteria ‘we can’t find the      they are piecemeal. Moreover,
                   which we know people will fail in,                     adult homelessness pathway, and                         right kind of person for the house’”     because of the way in which they are
                   because of the inevitably chaotic                      the supported housing projects we                                                                commissioned, many offer insecure
                   and messy nature of change and                         identified which are run by charities,                 A housing-led model hinges on being       or short term funding, time limited
                   recovery?”                                             faith groups or social enterprises and                 able to provide flexible support for as   support (connected to funding) or are
                                                                          do not receive any council funding                     long as is needed, separate to housing,   available only to those already within
                 As the following chart shows, much                       for support. The numbers behind this                   and at scale. By ‘separate to housing’,   the supported housing pathway: all
                 of the commissioned support is                           chart are included in the table below.                 we mean that the tenancy should           of which jeopardise fidelity with the
                 effectively ‘tied’ to either congregate                  See Appendix 1 for further definitions                 not come to an end just because the       model and risk its dilution.
                 (e.g. hostel or shared house) settings.                  and explanations.                                      support is no longer needed, offered
                                                                                                                                 or wanted, because in this instance,      As these early pilots mature, it would
                                                                                                                                 there is a need for further move-on,      be helpful to have an overarching
                                                                                                                                 with all the disruption, delay and need   strategy for Housing First, informed
                 Types of units/bedspaces identified by service type
                                                                                                                                 for further support which this incurs.    by a community of practice and
                                                                                                                                                                           people with experience of receiving a
                         Supported housing other                                                                                  “A lot of our supported housing          Housing First service. Harnessing the
                                                                                                                                  projects are time-limited (e.g. 6-9      experiences and learning from these
                                                                                                                                  months) – this is strict and process-    disparate services will build capacity,
                  Mental Health Pathway (MHP)                                                                                     laden – it’s often not long enough”      and ensure that this expensive and
                                                                                                                                                                           specialist intervention is focused in the
                                                                                                                                  (Professional, in focus group)           right places, and consistently delivers
                 Adult Homeless Pathway (AHP)                                                                                                                              the outcomes we have come to expect
                                                                                                                                 Whilst there is undoubtedly a role to     from this model.
                                                                                                                                 be played in the system for supported
                                                            0    50 100 150 200 250 300 350 400 450 500 550
                     Hostel/Cluster                                                                                              housing as a package this should be
                     Shared flat/house                                                                                           a much smaller and specialist part
                                                                                                                                 of the system, including for example
                     Floating support to individuals                                                                             refuges, therapeutic communities, or
                                                                                                                                 tenancy-based models for those with
                                                                                                                                 long term care and support needs.
                                                                                                                                 To move to a housing-led system,
                  Service category                          Hostel/          Shared             Floating         Type not
                                                                                                                                 it will be important to re-configure
                                                            Cluster            flat/          support to           noted
                                                                                                                                 commissioned support, so that
                                                                              house          individuals
                                                                                                                                 more of it can be offered flexibly and
                  Adult homeless pathway (AHP)                      70              20                    50                0
                                                                                                                                 separately to housing, in a range of
                  Mental health pathway (MHP)                        0             486                     0                0    tenures and settings.
                  Supported housing other                          138             125                    15                0
                  TOTAL                                           208              631                    65                0     “We need to develop a process
                                                                                                                                  which really takes into account
                                                                                                                                  strengths, needs and preferences
                                                                                                                                  rather than lumping everyone
                 10 Johnsen, S. and Teixeira, L. (2010). Staircases, Elevators and Cycles of Change: ‘Housing First’ and other
                                                                                                                                  together – understanding what
                 Housing Models for Homeless People with Complex Support Needs. London: Crisis UK/ University of York.            people are good at, what they are
                 [Online]. Available at: https://www.crisis.org.uk/media/20498/staircases_elevators_and_cycles_of_change_         interested in, where they want to be
                                                                                                                                  and with whom”.
                 11 Oxfordshire Adult Homeless Pathway Common Operational Document
15   Housing-led Feasibility Study for Oxfordshire                                                                                                                                                              Summary Report   16
                                                                                                                                   3.3. Estimated current spending
     What is Housing First?
                                                                                                                                                                               overlap with single homelessness of
                                                                                                                                   For the purposes of our modelling,          approximately £2.5M.
                                                                                                                                   we have tried to estimate total spend
     Housing First is a well-established model,                      must have a private, safe, secure place to                    on single homelessness services             Apart from the investment by mental
     which aims to support people facing multiple                    live before they can engage with support                      across the county. This raises huge         health in housing support, this does
     and complex issues out of homelessness, for                     services to address other needs they may                      challenges in relation to what should       not include health and substance use
     good. The model is supported by a substantial                   have. The model therefore seeks to remove                     be included and what should not.            services commissioned specifically for
     international evidence base; for example, 85%                   the conditionality or the barriers to accessing               We have not, for example, included          this cohort.
     of those housed in the Pathways to Housing                      a tenancy as a first step to making recovery                  local authority staff costs to manage
     project in the US sustained their tenancies                     possible. At present, the allocation policies in              and oversee the statutory system            This would bring total spend to
     over a 5 year period; evaluation of the French                  Oxfordshire act as a barrier to this happening                and the commissioning of services.          somewhere in the region of £12M per
     Un Chez Soi d'abord also found 85% tenancy                      – as we discuss in more detail in Chapter 5.                  Furthermore, the budgets come               annum across the county. This does
     sustainment after 2 years12. There are two                                                                                    from different sources, including           not include additional government
     fundamental aspects of the model, both of                       The support                                                   local authorities, central government,      funding prompted by Covid-19.
     which differ significantly from our typical                     Supporting a person to find an ordinary                       housing associations and charities.
     service response to this cohort of people: the                  property where they want to and can live                      The different funding streams are
     housing and the support.                                        might be a necessary first step, but clearly this             linked to different contracts, statutory
                                                                     alone will not be sufficient where a person                   frameworks and priorities, and driven
     The housing                                                     has long-standing multiple challenges with                    by different timescales and decision-
     In the current ’staircase model’ operating                      substances, mental health, etc. Without the                   making processes.
     in Oxfordshire, this acts as a barrier for many                 right level of support, the individual – and
     with complex needs, for whom hostel settings                    their neighbours – could be set up to fail.                   The Countywide Homelessness
     can be very stressful. Some find it difficult                                                                                 Coordinator undertook an exercise
     to conform to the rules, so they either avoid                   In the current homelessness system in                         to estimate total spending across
     ‘the system’ or experience multiple evictions                   Oxfordshire, floating support services are                    the county on single homelessness
     from projects, getting stuck in what is often                   available but these are not suitable for a                    services. This produced a total of
     described as a ‘revolving door’.                                person who has high and complex needs,                        £6.5M annually across Oxfordshire
                                                                     since they are time-limited (typically up to                  in 2018/19, with further annual
     Housing First was developed as an                               6 months’ support, albeit with a degree of                    spending on the young person’s
     alternative to the ‘staircase model’ in                         flexibility around the end-point); and workers                pathway, of £2.5M.
     which people need to demonstrate their                          support a significant number of individuals at
     ‘tenancy readiness’ by staying successfully                     any given time.                                               This does not seem to include some
     in hostel or shared accommodation for a                                                                                       of the wider services identified in our
     period of time and engaging with support to                     In contrast, Housing First recognises that a                  housing support mapping exercise,
     change behaviours such as substance use                         person with long-standing multiple issues is                  such as the city and districts’ access to
     before they are considered for a permanent                      likely to need support that is highly flexible,               private rented sector services, tenancy
     tenancy. Housing First was developed out                        does not come with a time limit, can be more                  sustainment, housing advice contracts,
     of recognition that many of those with long                     intensive and holistic, and with the continuity               or the use of Discretionary Housing
     term experiences of homelessness, mental                        of relationship which is key to building trust. A             Payments (DHP) for homelessness
     health challenges and substance use have                        Housing First support offer is not time-limited               prevention. We estimate there may be
     experienced significant trauma in their lives                   and the worker typically supports between 5                   around an additional £0.5M of funding
     – often as both cause and effect of their                       and 7 active cases at any one time. Perhaps                   countywide on these further activities,
     homelessness. For example, the vast majority                    the greatest challenge in implementing                        though this is a very rough estimate,
     of women in this cohort have experienced                        a high fidelity Housing First model, is the                   since it is hard to work out exactly
     domestic and/or sexual violence. For many,                      shift towards support which promotes self-                    what was included and what was not,
     the use of substances has become a way                          determination, and places people back in                      and we do not have costings for some
     of dealing with past trauma and with the                        control of their own lives.                                   of these services.
     extremely stressful experience of being
     homeless, including rough sleeping. Housing                                                                                   Spending on the mental health
     First is based on the premise that a person                                                                                   pathway in 2018/19, was
                                                                                                                                   approximately £3.3M. mental health
                                                                                                                                   commissioners estimated that 75% of
     12 For more details, see Downie, M., Gousy, H., Basran, J., Jacob, R., Rowe, S., Hancock, C., Albanese, F., Pritchard, R.,
                                                                                                                                   those in the mental health pathway
     Nightingale, K. and Davies, T. (2018). Everybody In: How to end homelessness in Great Britain. London: Crisis UK. [Online].
     Available at: https://www.crisis.org.uk/ending-homelessness/the-plan-to-end-homelessness-full-version/solutions/chapter-      would otherwise be homeless,
     9-the-role-of-housing-first-in-ending-homelessness/                                                                           so we will assume that there is an
17   Housing-led Feasibility Study for Oxfordshire                                                                                                                                                                                      Summary Report   18

                 4. The case
                                                                                                                                  4.2. How is the homelessness system                      impedes this.
                                                                                                                                  across Oxfordshire performing?
                                                                                                                                  In order to explore this question,                       People already ‘in or known to the
                                                                                                                                  we constructed a model and                               system’

                 for change
                                                                                                                                  populated it with data from the official                 280 long-term rough sleepers, already
                                                                                                                                  Homelessness Case Level Collection                       known to the system
                                                                                                                                  (H-CLIC) returns to central government                   830 people already staying in
                                                                                                                                  from each of the Oxfordshire councils,                   supported accommodation at the start
                                                                                                                                  supplemented with data from councils                     of the year16
                                                                                                                                  and providers. Given the huge
                                                                                                                                  operational challenges for services                      People who enter the system
                                                                                                                                  resulting from the pandemic, some                        1370 who first present at an early
                                                                                                                                  gaps in data remain. It should also be                   stage17, as being at risk of homeless18
                                                                                                                                  noted that the modelling was also                        560 who first present to the council
                 4.1. The traumatised system                              of adaptation and even innovation in                    done using 2018-19 data (since the full                  and are accepted under the prevention
                 The national context for this study is                   the face of this challenging context, we                set for 2019-20 was not available at the                 duty19
                 ever more inconsistent and uncertain                     also described a ‘traumatised’ system                   time).                                                   280 who first present to the council
                 financing of revenue costs for                           in which everyone is trying to do ‘more                                                                          and are accepted under the relief duty20
                 housing-related support, a decline                       with less’, with results that can be re-                This is a limitation; however, even                      260 newly identified rough sleepers
                 in dedicated budgets, and very deep                      traumatising for those we are trying to                 if more recent data had been used,                       (of whom 26 are known to have come
                 expenditure cuts from 2008 onwards13.                    help.                                                   2020-21 will almost certainly generate                   from out-of-county)
                 These cuts have taken place against a                                                                            a very different set of figures, given                   660 people referred directly to
                 backdrop of wider funding reductions;                    Our study in Oxfordshire recognises                     the impact of Covid-19. More                             supported accommodation (with a
                 other changes to mental health,                          this context, whilst arguing that what                  detail regarding the methodology                         further 125 referred through Housing
                 addiction, social care, criminal justice,                is needed is a bold re-focusing of                      used for this modelling exercise, a                      Options or Street Outreach teams); 590
                 and alongside rising demand for social                   efforts and resources on ending                         commentary on its results and a copy                     actually moved in.
                 and affordable housing outstripping                      homelessness, rather than simply                        of the spreadsheet are found on the
                 supply and the introduction of welfare                   managing, containing and fire-                          report website. Headline findings are                    Outcomes
                 reform. The last decade has seen more                    fighting. There are substantial assets                  presented here:                                          1530 people (around 36% of the total
                 demand for homelessness services,                        to support this across the county                                                                                ‘at risk’ group) are known to have
                 including from increasing numbers of                     – not least, a highly energised and                     People coming into contact with the                      achieved a successful outcome from
                 people with high and complex needs,                      confident community sector, as                          homelessness system                                      their contact with the system. In other
                 alongside spikes in rough sleeping14.                    demonstrated during Everyone In.                        According to the data, just under 4200                   words, the data suggests that they have
                 The government response has been                         However, transformation will require                    single households came into contact                      either avoided or effectively exited
                 to provide short-term, competitively                     bold yet dispersed leadership, opening                  with the homelessness system across                      homelessness, by either retaining,
                 accessed and prescriptive funding,                       up honest dialogue about what is                        Oxfordshire in 2018-19. This includes                    securing alternative, or moving on
                 focused on reducing rough sleeping.                      working, what is not working and                        both those already ‘in’ the system                       from supported accommodation into,
                                                                          what needs to happen to improve                         and those who joined it at different                     stable housing. We have also included
                 Our research earlier this year with                      outcomes. This needs to capitalise on                   stages over the course of the year.                      the small number who have been
                 University of York15 for Riverside                       the human assets across the county                      We have rounded all the figures to                       successfully reconnected with another
                 Housing Group explored the impact of                     and enable providers to develop                         reflect the incompleteness of the data,                  local authority.
                 these changes in government policy                       new solutions, with a co-ordinated                      and made some allowances to avoid
                 over the last decade on local authority                  approach to ending homelessness.                        double-counting, though the inability
                 commissioning of homelessness                                                                                    of current systems to track individuals
                 services. Although we found evidence
                                                                                                                                  16 This includes the Young People’s and all Adults’ homelessness services, and we have also included 75%
                                                                                                                                  of the placements in the Mental Health pathway: there is considerable, but not total overlap between the
                 13 Jarrett, T. (2012). The Supporting People Programme: Research Paper. House of Commons Library.                Mental Health and Homelessness systems, so we have worked with colleagues in mental health services to
                 12/40. London: The Stationery Office. [Online]. Available at: https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-     estimate that around 75% of those in mental health services would otherwise be homeless.
                 briefings/rp12-40/ and Oakley, M. and Bovill Rose, C. (2020). Local authority spending on homelessness 2020      17 Under the Prevention Duty of the Homelessness Reduction Act, housing authorities are required to
                 update. London: St. Mungo’s / Homeless Link. [Online]. Available at: https://www.mungos.org/publication/         assist those who are threatened with homelessness within the next 56 days. By ‘early stage’, we refer to those
                 local-authority-spending-on-homelessness-2020-update/                                                            who present ahead of the 56 days.
                 14 Fitzpatrick, S., Pawson, H., Bramley, G., Wood, J., Watts, B., Stephens, M. and Blenkinsopp, J. (2019). The   18 This will be an under-estimate, as clients of the Tenancy Sustainment and Floating Support services –
                 homelessness monitor: England 2019. London: Crisis UK. [Online]. Available at:                                   who did not come via Housing Options are not included in this figure.
                 15 Blood, I., Pleace, N., Alden, S. and Dulson, S. (2020). ‘A Traumatised System’: Research into the             19 It should, however, be noted that the approach to recording prevention cases varies across the
                 commissioning of homeless services in the last 10 years. Liverpool: The Riverside Group Limited. [Online].       Oxfordshire authorities.
                 Available at: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/165214/1/A_Traumatised_System_FULL_REPORT_v8_webFINAL.              20 Note that the actual total of relief duty acceptances is 430, since 60 of which were previously accepted
                 pdf                                                                                                              under the Prevention Duty; and 90 of which were rough sleepers
19   Housing-led Feasibility Study for Oxfordshire                                                                                                                                            Summary Report   20

                 Successful outcomes 2018/2019                                                                                         Total homeless or "at risk"

                    Stable alternative move-on                    Reconnected successfully                                           1,110                       3,090
                    from supported housing                                with another LA                                      already in system              newly present
                    189                                                                  9                                        R.S. or S.H.

                                                                                                            1,050                                 1,620                                 1,240
                    Stable alternative                                   Home sustained at                  Lose                             Remain in system                           Avoid
                    housing at relief stage                            pre-prevention stage                contact                             (R.S. or S.H.)                        homelessness
                    94                                                                  528

                    Stable alternative housing                           Home sustained at
                    at prevention stage                                   prevention stage                                                         290
                    671                                                                 41                                                  Exit homelessness
                                                                                                    In the system means either in supported housing or a known rough sleeper
                                                                                                    EXIT / avoid homelessness refers moving into or retaining stable accommodation
                 A quarter of the total group (1050)        The following chart shows where these
                 – lose contact with the system.            individuals drop out of the system.
                 Many of these will make their own          Note that an unsuccessful referral to   4.3. Lived experiences of the                         Others struggled to prove their identity:
                 arrangements, some suitable and            supported housing means that the        homelessness system
                 sustainable, but many probably not.        person was either not accepted by or    The lived experience research was                        “They don’t want to see me unless
                 It is likely that a significant number     refused supported housing or did not    conducted with people who were out                      I have photo ID. Where am I *******
                 of this group will go on to ‘sofa-surf’,   present at the project to which they    on the streets of Oxford (many, but                     getting photo ID from, so you know
                 live as a ‘concealed household’, squat     were referred.                          not all of whom were rough sleeping)                    what I mean?”
                 or sleep rough ‘off radar’. Although it                                            during July and August. The findings
                 was not possible to quantify or match      The remainder of the total ‘at risk’    from this strand of the study gives                   Rough sleepers need to be ‘verified’
                 individuals to their statutory records,    population remain within the system,    further insight into how some of this                 in order to receive an adult homeless
                 many of the individuals we interviewed     either staying in, mostly short-term,   cohort experience the system and why                  pathway placement. One person
                 through the street-based peer              supported housing placements, or        they either drop out of it, or avoid it               described substantial delays within this
                 research.                                  living on the streets.                  altogether.                                           process:

                                                                                                    Many people described barriers linked                   “I’ve been there ‘n that and I’ve been
                 People who lost contact with the system 2018/2019
                                                                                                    to eligibility. Not having a local area                 waiting. It took ‘em 4 months, yeah,
                    People evicted                                                                  connection was a common barrier;                        to verify me, to find where I was
                    from/abandoning                                                                 and those who had previously been                       staying, yeah...Now they have, they
                                                                         cases not resolved
                                                                                                    told they did not have a connection                     still aren’t putting me on the list”.
                    supported housing                                                  287
                                                                                                    tended not to bother with the council.
                                                                                                    One woman explained that she had                      Some people told us that they tried
                                                                                                    been staying on her boyfriend’s sofa                  to avoid outreach services, because
                    Referrals to                                            Prevention duty         (with periods of rough sleeping during                they did not want to be woken up or
                    supported housing                                          cases closed         arguments) on and off for a decade:                   otherwise disturbed. Although some
                    not successful                                        without resolution                                                              praised individual workers, some had
                    327                                                                 133           “this was a couple of years ago                     lost trust in the overall approach:
                                                                                                      [when I last went to the council].
                                                                                                      Basically, I don’t have a local                       “The way street services, they go
                                                                    Relief duty cases closed          connection to the area and I                          along, they find out where you
                                                                          without resolution          don’t have a local connection to                      live then they tell the owner of the
                                                                                         222          anywhere, even though I’ve been                       land where you’re living and then
                                                                                                      here like 20 odd years, so…”                          basically get you evicted from there.
                                                                                                                                                            That’s what they do though”.
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