ENQUIRE Housing Options is a tool that provides consistent advice that can be accessed at any time (and without the need for visiting your offices). The tool can be used by third party organisations on behalf of service users, such as the Probation Service, for example.
Use of the tool flags up to the ‘back office’ any cases where there is a risk of homelessness. In this way the tool enables homelessness to be prevented in the maximum number of cases.
ENQUIRE Housing Options is a discrete package of interlinked information that is designed to inform customers directly, in plain English. The content fully reflects the new duties under S179 of the Housing Act 1996 to provide targeted advice.
Here are some examples of the topic areas covered:
- Housing options advice
- Helping you stay in your home (homeless prevention advice)
- Eligibility and homelessness (reflecting new duties under the homelessness reduction Act 2017)
- Temporary housing for homeless people
- Appealing against the Council’s decisions
- What support is available
- Key weblinks
The standard information can be further developed so that it is targeted to the particular locality. So, for example, we would signpost people to key local agencies specialising in support and would outline specific housing opportunities in the area (local lettings agencies, for example).
Although ENQUIRE has been designed to allow customers to self-advise (thus allowing frontline staff to be more productive), it is important to identify occasions when follow up is required. This could be because:
- Further advice on the affordability or suitability of various options is needed
- A household is at risk of homelessness, and intervention to prevent this is appropriate
- The household already requires active prevention or relief work, and a personalised housing plan
Trown Housing Consultancy has particular expertise in developing bespoke HTML forms and incorporating them into our existing tools such as those described above, so that appropriate follow-up is never missed.