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Prevention of homelessness

This one-day Shelter conference, held in Edinburgh on 5 February 2009, explored a number of measures and services that can help people stay in their accommodation and avoid the crisis of homelessness.

Plenary Session 1: What is prevention; why does it matter and what can it contribute on the road to 2012?

Alastair Cameron, Chief Executive, Scottish Churches Housing Action chaired the event and the first plenary session focused on the background to homelessness prevention and its importance in meeting the 2012 target. Graeme Brown, Director, Shelter Scotland, gave the first presentation, looking at the importance of preventing homelessness to Shelter’s clients.

Graeme was followed by Julie Hunter, Policy Officer, The Scottish Government, who focused on the Government’s recent work in revising the guidance on homelessness prevention. The next presentation was given by Kirsty Morrison, who talked about Edinburgh Council’s prevention work and the importance of homelessness prevention to local authorities in meeting the 2012 target.

You can download their presentations here:

Prevention is better than cure
Graeme Brown, Director, Shelter Scotland

Homelessness prevention guidance
Julie Hunter, Policy Officer, The Scottish Government

Preventing homelessness and the 2012 target
Kirsty Morrison, Strategy & Research Manager, City of Edinburgh Council

Plenary Session 2: Early warning systems: Section 11

The second plenary session focused on the changes to Section 11 of the Homelessness Act 2003, introducing new duties on landlords and lenders to notify local authorities about their possession actions. Carole Barker-Munro, Policy Officer, The Scottish Government, gave the first presentation in this session, outlining the new regulations and guidance for Section 11. Consultant Danny Phillips then talked about the results of a recent Section 11 pilot carried out with tenants in the Govan area.

You can download their presentations here:

Section 11 of the Homelessness etc (Scotland) Act 2003
Carole Barker-Munro, Policy Officer, The Scottish Government

Prevention of homelessness partnership evaluation
Danny Phillips, Consultant

Morning workshop sessions

Delegates were given a choice of four workshops as follows:

Shelter prison project on homelessness prevention
Diane Connock & Becky Fraser, Shelter Scotland

Section 11 – guidance and practice
Julie Hunter and Carole Barker-Munro, The Scottish Government (no presentation given at this workshop)

Homelessness assessments
Alice Ann Jackson, Independent trainer and consultant

Preventing eviction
Alexis Camble, Policy Officer, Shelter Scotland

Plenary Session 3: New challenges for prevention: struggling home-owners

The afternoon presentations looked at the impact of the current economic situation on the housing market and some of the measures being taken to assist home owners.

Kennedy Foster, Policy Consultant, CML Scotland, focused on how prevention work can be targeted at struggling home-owners. Professor Glen Bramley, Professor of Urban Studies, Heriott-Watt University, outlined the main findings of a recent evaluation project on the Mortgage to Rent scheme in Scotland.

You can download their presentations here:

Prevention of homelessness
Kennedy Foster, Policy Consultant, CML Scotland

Mortgage to Rent and homeowners at risk
Professor Glen Bramley, Professor of Urban Studies, Heriott-Watt University

Afternoon Workshop Sessions

There were three options for delegates to select from as follows:

Mediation and young people prevention initiative
Janeine Barrett, North Ayrshire Council

Tenancy sustainment strategy
Catherine Wilkie, GHA

Domestic abuse and homelessness prevention
Lydia Okroj, Scottish Womens Aid

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