Good Practice

4in10 Explores Housing

Date Posted: 06 December 2011

Exploring Housing Benefit - is London ready for the caps? The workshop attracted over 100 individuals and organisations, including members of Voluntary and Community Sector and Statutory Sector organisations as well as local and national politicians.

Speakers included Terry Bamford (Chair of Westminster's Safeguarding Children Board); Camila Batmanghelidj (Director of Kids Company a charity providing practical, emotional and educational support to vulnerable inner-city children); Karen Buck (Labour Member of Parliament for Westminster North); Jenny Jones (member of the London Assembly); Joanna Kennedy (CEO Z2K); Nigel Minto (Housing and Planning lead at London Councils); Angela Piddock (recently retired head of Wilberforce Primary School); Romin Sutherland (Z2K NextDoor project Manager).

The workshop included information from experts about the policy and practice implications of Housing Benefit changes, particularly those affecting children. Strategic planning and policy discussion groups explored the need for new working and communication structures within and across sectors, to better support families and communities affected by housing benefit changes.

There were a number of proposals including establishing resettlement teams in Local Authorities, creating multi-agency safeguarding teams, promoting housing benefit claimants as good tenants amongst private landlords, creating an online information and guidance portal, creating an awareness campaign focusing on the human stories of people affected by changes to the housing cap, and creating a searchable, real time up-to-date website, indicating location and availability of affordable housing.

The full report of the workshop is available here.