Nottingham City Council’s homelessness support service will be easier to access online and in person, following changes starting this month.
The Housing Aid team is moving from its Lower Parliament Street premises to the council’s Loxley House headquarters on Station Street in January, as part of wider improvements to create a one-stop shop for the public to access a range of services including JobCentre Plus and Nottingham Revenues and Benefits Service.
Before that, it has launched a new, easy-to-use online process allowing advisers to respond faster to housing support requests from households facing homelessness. Currently people affected by homelessness visit the Housing Aid office in person or make a telephone call which is not always easy or convenient and can involve long waiting times.
The new online self-assessment tool has been introduced at www.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/homelessness and will allow people to check if they are eligible for support without the need to visit or call Housing Aid. Applicants can use a smart phone or tablet or free-to-use computers with free internet access for members at City Council libraries. Applicants can then complete account registration online, which will be reviewed by Housing Aid officers before completing an over-the-telephone appointment.
Portfolio holder for Planning and Housing, Councillor Linda Woodings, said: “Reducing homelessness is a priority for the council, with a commitment to use settled homes as emergency accommodation instead of bed & breakfasts, and limiting the time spent there as much as possible to avoid disruption and potentially long-lasting negative impacts on families.
“We also want to make the process to find long-term, sustainable accommodation as easy as possible and reduce pressure on our Housing Aid staff. This new online tool recognises that many people now expect to be able to complete tasks online, makes the process easier and allows Housing Aid adviser resources to be targeted towards our most vulnerable citizens.”