Nomad Opening Doors

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Nomad Opening Doors's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Nomad Opening Doors is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

www.nomadsheffield.co.uk

BEST PRACTICE SPONSOR 2020
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
46 | BRIGHTER FUTURES
Our Housing First service
During the last couple of years, we
have developed a new Housing
First service in Stoke-on-Trent and
more recently in Coventry. This is an
international approach which has been
getting some fantastic results in other
countries, such as the US, Denmark,
Sweden and France, which are
demonstrating sustainable outcomes.
More recently, this approach has been
introduced to parts of the UK.
The service is centred upon providing
a home first as a human right, offering
personalised intensive support to an
individual which is not a condition of
their tenancy and is not time limited.
Key to this approach being successful
is strong partnership working with
other landlords and support agencies
and providing flexible responsive
support to individuals at their
ownpace.
To date, we have seen positive
results, and it has been a helpful
addition to the range of options that
we can offer to people who find
themselves homeless or are at risk of
becominghomeless.
These accomplishments have been
made possible, in part, by our values:
»Passionate
»Creative
»Equal
»Empowering
»Sustainable
These values are very important to
us, underpinning everything that we
have done and continue to do as an
organisation.
Challenges moving forward
Going forward, we continue to see
the current housing supply shortage,
especially of one and two- bedroom
properties, as having a major impact
on the people that we support and
the services that we provide. Where
we can, we are looking to continue
acquiring and, possibly in the future,
developing properties to increase the
supply of properties able to support
our customers to live within their local
communities. This will also enable
us to free up temporary emergency
accommodation for people in need of
this type of provision.
Moreover, we will also continue
to strive to have the voice of our
customers and tenants heard on
issues that are important to them.
This includes helping to break down
barriers that may exist around financial
inclusion and access to key services
such as health provision, education
and employment.
As a small specialist support focused
housing association, we pride ourselves
on the quality and creativity of our
services and accommodation which are
delivered by a team of experienced,
passionate, committed and dedicated
staff and volunteers. Brighter Futures
have celebrated our 45th year of
service and look forward to a further
45 years supporting local communities.
We will
continue to
strive to have
the voice of
our customers
and tenants
heard on
issues that are
important to
them
The Brighter Futures
head office
47NOMAD OPENING DOORS |
HEALTH & SOCIAL WORK
CEO Fran Ferris-Ockwell
Discovering a love of
cooking
The team at Nomad, led by CEO Fran Ferris-Ockwell,
believe that everyone has the right to safe and secure
accommodation. By providing high-quality and holistic
housing and support services across South Yorkshire – with
a focus on Sheffield – Fran says Nomad empowers people
to access opportunities, achieve their goals and live on their
own terms. Their charity turned 30 last year and Fran tells
The
Parliamentary Review
what has led Nomad to achieve such
success, and how it continues to grow.
Nomad began 30 years ago. It was started to tackle the homelessness crisis in
Sheffield by jackie, a single mum, and Barrie, a single man, who were both facing
homelessness themselves. We exist today to reduce homelessness by improving the
supply of decent, affordable housing.
OurSmart Steps programme works with single homeless people to help them find
and sustain shared housing. It involves working with private landlords to encourage
and support them to let their properties to people who have experienced
homelessness, most of whom are in receipt of benefits. We also manage several
training flats for a local housing association, where people can live and receive
support while they learn how to manage their own private rented sector tenancy.
We have been doing this work since 2011, and in that time we have housed over
500 people.
FACTS ABOUT
NOMAD OPENING DOORS
»CEO: Fran Ferris-Ockwell
»Established in 1989
»Based in Sheffield
»Services: Housing provision for
homeless people
»No. of employees: 10
Nomad Opening
Doors
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
48 | NOMAD OPENING DOORS
Developing skills and
resilience
We believe that everyone has strengths,
and everyone has potential. Our job
is to help people transition out of
homelessness quickly and positively,
and to support people in developing
the skills and resilience to help them
avoid becoming homeless again in the
future. Many of the people we work
with have experienced challenge and
trauma in their lives, but this should not
define them. Our coaches help people
to become involved with their new
community so they can develop their
sense of identity and self-belief and
build support networks they can call
upon if things get tough.
For many, renting a home is
unaffordable. People who rely on
housing benefits can find it almost
impossible to find a home in the private
rented sector in some parts of the
country. Those without a safety net of
family or friends can find themselves
with nowhere to go. Without
programmes like Smart Steps, far more
people would become street homeless.
To make sure we can continue to
provide affordable housing, we have
recently begun a pilot for a social letting
agency. This will allow us to continue to
offer supportive and carefully matched
house-shares for young people where
they can stay for as long as they
need to. We provide full tenancy-
management services to private sector
landlords, which generates an income
to support our work, making us less
reliant upon other funding streams.
We hope that our approach will
increase access to the private rented
sector for people who would otherwise
be excluded. Many of our current
landlords have said that the support
they receive from Nomad is the only
reason that they will work with people
who are in receipt of benefits. We
support tenants and their landlords to
navigate the benefits system. This extra
support incentivises those landlords
and agencies who would otherwise be
unwilling or unable to let to benefit
claimants. Managing properties will
also give us greater control over
the formation and composition of
house-shares, which will help us
Staff workshop
We hope that
our approach
will increase
access to the
private rented
sector for
people who
would
otherwise be
excluded
BEST PRACTICE SPONSOR 2020
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
48 | NOMAD OPENING DOORS
Developing skills and
resilience
We believe that everyone has strengths,
and everyone has potential. Our job
is to help people transition out of
homelessness quickly and positively,
and to support people in developing
the skills and resilience to help them
avoid becoming homeless again in the
future. Many of the people we work
with have experienced challenge and
trauma in their lives, but this should not
define them. Our coaches help people
to become involved with their new
community so they can develop their
sense of identity and self-belief and
build support networks they can call
upon if things get tough.
For many, renting a home is
unaffordable. People who rely on
housing benefits can find it almost
impossible to find a home in the private
rented sector in some parts of the
country. Those without a safety net of
family or friends can find themselves
with nowhere to go. Without
programmes like Smart Steps, far more
people would become street homeless.
To make sure we can continue to
provide affordable housing, we have
recently begun a pilot for a social letting
agency. This will allow us to continue to
offer supportive and carefully matched
house-shares for young people where
they can stay for as long as they
need to. We provide full tenancy-
management services to private sector
landlords, which generates an income
to support our work, making us less
reliant upon other funding streams.
We hope that our approach will
increase access to the private rented
sector for people who would otherwise
be excluded. Many of our current
landlords have said that the support
they receive from Nomad is the only
reason that they will work with people
who are in receipt of benefits. We
support tenants and their landlords to
navigate the benefits system. This extra
support incentivises those landlords
and agencies who would otherwise be
unwilling or unable to let to benefit
claimants. Managing properties will
also give us greater control over
the formation and composition of
house-shares, which will help us
Staff workshop
We hope that
our approach
will increase
access to the
private rented
sector for
people who
would
otherwise be
excluded
49NOMAD OPENING DOORS |
HEALTH & SOCIAL WORK
place people in the most appropriate
house for them. By offering our
services contractually to landlords, we
can provide them with even greater
assurance that the challenges of letting
to people on housing benefits can
beovercome.
The effect of Universal Credit
Research indicates that approximately
half of landlords and over a third of
letting agents will not let to people
who are claiming benefits for their
housing costs as they are concerned
about the risk of delayed rent
payments and rent shortfalls. Welfare
reform has compounded these issues:
in 2016, housing benefits were frozen
and will remain so until 2020.
While private-sector rents have been
rising, housing benefits, which had
already been calculated at the bottom
30th percentile of market rents, have
remained unchanged. In practice,
this means that in many parts of
the country there is a gulf between
the amount of money a tenant will
receive towards their housing costs
and the actual rent. Research from
the Residential Landlords Association
confirms this. It showed that for
landlords of tenants in receipt of
Universal Credit, 54 per cent report
that their tenants have accrued rent
arrears in the last year, and 68 per cent
of landlords report a shortfall between
the rent and the amount received in
Universal Credit. Compounding this,
not enough social housing is being
built, and only a small number of
people who need it can access it. The
private rented sector is therefore the
only option for many people.
Prior to the Homelessness Reduction
Act 2017, there was very little legal
protection for single homeless
people unless they were vulnerable
enough to be in priority need. Local
authorities are now required to
take steps to prevent people from
becoming homeless, or where this
is not possible, to support them to
secure housing. While this does not
extend as far as actually providing
housing, without programmes like
Smart Steps, local authorities would
have to put significant resources into
supporting all the single homeless
applicants in finding housing. Despite
this, we receive no statutory funding.
We are funded entirely through grants,
fundraising and earned income.
We would welcome increased
investment in homelessness prevention
and in schemes like ours that make
the private rented sector accessible
to those in the greatest need. For
them, there really is no other viable
housingoption.
The private
rented sector
is the only
option for
many people
»CASE STUDY: CRAIG
Craig, a care leaver, moved into a training flat where he received
intensive support from one of our housing officers to develop
his tenancy-sustainment skills. He also worked with a coach who
encouraged him to think about what he wanted from his career,
instead of taking jobs that didn’t make him happy. He wanted to
do something physically challenging and settled on high ropes access
work. Our coach found funding for Craig to attend a training course
and for the equipment he would need. Craig completed the training
and is now working as a ropes access technician, and living in a
permanent Nomad house-share.
One-to-one coaching

www.nomadsheffield.co.uk

This article was sponsored by Nomad Opening Doors. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss

Even by the standards of the day –this has been one of the most exciting and unpredictable years in British politics.

The leadership election we’ve just seen marks a huge moment in our country’s history. This government is taking a decisive new direction, embracing the opportunities of Brexit and preparing our country to flourish outside the EU.

As international trade secretary, I’ll be driving forward work on the free trade agreements that are going to be a priority for the government. Free trade isn’t just an abstract concept bandied around by technocrats. It is crucial for a strong economy and for the ability of families to make ends meet. Free trade benefits people in every part of our country, as British firms export to new markets and people doing the weekly shop have access to a wider choice of goods at lower prices.

The essence of free trade is in the title: freedom. It’s about giving people the power to exchange their goods without heavy government taxation or interference. Commerce and free exchange are the engine room of prosperity and social mobility. I’m determined to tackle the forces who want to hold that back.

One of my priorities is agreeing an exciting new free trade deal with the US, building on the great relationship between our two countries and the Prime Minister and US President. But I’ll also be talking to other partners including New Zealand, Australia and fast-growing Asian markets.

And with the EU too, we want a friendly and constructive relationship, as constitutional equals, and as friends and partners in facing the challenges that lie ahead – a relationship based on a deep free trade agreement. Our country produces some of the world’s most successful exports, and the opportunity to bring these to the rest of the world should make us all excited about the future. It is this excitement, optimism and ambition which I believe will come to define this government.

For too long now, we have been told Britain isn’t big or important enough to survive outside the EU – that we have to accept a deal that reflects our reduced circumstances. I say that’s rubbish. With the right policies in place, we can be the most competitive, free-thinking, prosperous nation on Earth exporting to the world and leading in new developments like AI. To do that, we’ll give the brilliant next generation of entrepreneurs the tools they need to succeed. Since 2015, there has been a staggering 85 per cent rise in the number of businesses set up by 18 to 24 year olds – twice the level set up by the same age group in France and Germany. We’ll help them flourish by championing enterprise, cutting taxes and making regulation flexible and responsive to their needs.

As we do that, we’ll level up and unite all parts of the UK with great transport links, fibre broadband in every home and proper school funding, so everyone shares in our country’s success.

2019 has been the year of brewing economic and political revolution. 2020 will be the year when a revitalised Conservative government turbo charges the economy, boosts prospects for people across the country, and catapults Britain back to the forefront of the world stage.



Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss
Secretary of State for International Development