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Access all options: Housing solutions for now Thursday 13th September 2012 York Racecourse

We have to do things differently to meet housing needs and aspirations at a lower cost to the public purse and there is no going back to the ‘old days’. New affordable housing is a critical part of the solution but we have more pressing matters, with homelessness rising and the knowledge that worse is to come as welfare reforms affect people living in the private rent and social housing sectors. Solutions have to be found within our existing housing stock, and fast. Could we do more to meet our own needs, and those of our communities? This could be through renting out a room, moving to a smaller home, or even building our own home. Enabling people to do these things, to access alternative solutions with minimum intervention, is part of the puzzle. This conference aims to inspire and enthuse; to encourage positive action in developing, and enabling access to housing options for those in acute need, and for those who want to take action themselves. We are not ignoring the need for new affordable housing, but perhaps we need to exhaust all other options before this regains the priority it once had for public expenditure. The conference will: Provide an update on the Government’s perspective on widening housing options and improving access Consider the impact of Welfare Reform in context of housing need and demand Explore what the ‘right environment’ is at a local level to enable a wider range of options to be developed; what can local authorities and registered providers do, and how can we enable other contributions? Consider what individuals and communities can do to meet their own, and others’ needs, and how we can enable this to become a reality Look at ways in which the private rented and home ownership sector can be developed and accessed, bearing in mind market pressures and access to finance.

Who should attend? Registered providers seeking to manage the impact of welfare reform on their own tenants, and those who are looking to develop their housing offer to meet a wider range of needs and aspirations Local authorities who are keen to enable a greater range of housing options in their local area. Officers at both strategic and operational level will find this conference of interest as topics include housing options and access mechanisms Social care commissioners, supported housing providers, community and voluntary sector service providers, who are keen to develop options for their customers and communities to have somewhere to live in the future

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Delegates will be able to record 4 Continuing Professional Development hours for attending this conference.


10.00 Registration and refreshments 10.30 Chair’s introduction and welcome Nick Atkin, Chief Executive, Halton Housing Trust 10.40 Widening housing options: the government's perspective Paul Downie, Deputy Director, Affordable Housing Management & Standards, Department for Communities and Local Government The Government has expectations about how organisations will locally meet housing needs and demand, making the best of what already exists, engaging others in developing solutions and requiring less public expenditure. This session will: review the housing options the Government would like to see available to people to meet needs and aspirations; explore how the Government is enabling this to happen and the roles the Government expects different organisations and individuals to play 11.05 Providing the right environment for housing options: the local authority role Kerry Bollister, Area Director, Homes & Communities at Sandwell MBC With less central government direction and resources to deliver housing options, local authorities have a greater role to play in enabling needs and aspirations to be met. A former housing market renewal area, Sandwell is enabling a wide range of housing options in the area. In addition to securing £10m HCA funding for new homes, it has piloted loft conversions to address over-crowding, and is currently considering the future of the 29,000 homes managed by the ALMO. The Council has also developed a corporate and cross-cutting approach to managing the impacts of welfare reform. This session will: provide a local authority perspective on how the local authority in its strategic and enabling role can seek to understand what is needed and enable alternative options to be developed, in partnership with others explore what the local authority would like others to do, for example the Government, in order to be more effective in the future

11.40 The role of registered providers in enabling and delivering housing options Mike Ward, Director of Housing Growth & Mobility, Circle Housing Group The 'affordable rent' model and welfare reform require serious consideration within business plans as well as opportunities to generate income through alternative housing options, whilst meeting increasing housing need and demand. This session will: provide a registered provider perspective on the options that are needed consider what the environment needs to look like to enable providers, and others, to develop a range of housing options suitable to meet needs and aspirations, including those of existing tenants 12.15 Professional Practice Sessions 1.

Developing alternative options in the private rented sector Steve Sargent, Strategic Housing Manager, Wigan MBC Wigan Council is a great example of an authority using every means possible to engage and work with private sector landlords and developers to deliver new housing options in the private sector. In this session participants will: hear about the wide-ranging approach being taken, ranging from social lettings, a bond scheme, leasing to accreditation explore the brokerage scheme which enables disabled people and people with care needs to find a home learn from the experience of working closely with the private sector to enable different housing options to be delivered


Making it fit: a guide to preparing for the social sector size criteria David Clayton, Head of Making Best Use of Stock Team, CIH In partnership with support from the Northern Housing Consortium and others, the CIH published a guide to managing the impact of the Welfare Reform Act 2012 in June. This session will provide delegates with an opportunity to: learn about the guidance and what it offers organisations hear of the approaches taken by other housing providers and local authorities explore what work is needed locally to manage the impact of reforms, in the context of other housing need and demand


Housing options for young people Donna Barrett, Service Manager, St Basils In this session participants will hear from St Basils about their approach to enabling young people to access housing options when they're ready to move on from supported accommodation. Recognising that young people have found it increasingly difficult to access settled accommodation when they're ready to move-on, St Basils has: worked to develop an alternative housing option, Trinity Court, to help young people make that final jump to independence whilst saving towards a deposit developed relationships with housing providers to improve access


Options to prevent housing crisis Rob McCartney, Head of Housing Support, Leeds City Council In this session delegates will hear from Leeds City Council who have developed alternative options and will look at: ‘invest to save’ options for households facing crisis, for example homelessness, or domestic abuse service development that is framed around the principle of ‘walking in the customer’s skin’, including encouraging different behaviours amongst families and friends and the Housing Prevention Fund for Children which focuses on preventing family breakdown


Homeshare: a housing option for older and younger people Angela Catley, Director of Operation, Community Catalysts CIC Deborah Power, Business Manager, Shared Lives Plus Within Homeshare, someone who needs some help to live independently in their own home is matched with someone who has a housing need and can provide a little support. Common overseas, Homeshare has been around in the UK for over 20 years. The model was promoted further in 2005 through Department of Health Funding. Faced with a increasingly older population, rising demands for social care and less access to affordable housing for young people, it is perhaps time for this model to be considered in more local areas. Participants will: hear about what Homeshare can offer and how it can be developed the challenges of getting it going and what support is available to organisations wishing to explore this as an option

13.15 Lunch 14.00 Enabling 'do it yourself' – self-build is an option Ted Stevens, Chair, National Self-Build Association Giving people and communities an opportunity to build their own homes fits neatly with the Government's localism agenda and is supported by the Community Right to Build and a new £30m Government-financed Revolving Fund to help groups buy land. In this session Ted will: outline the NaSBA perspective on what local authorities and registered providers can do to enable self-build as a housing option, explore how to develop the right environment for this model of delivery provide case studies that others can learn from 14.35 Professional Practice Sessions 6.

Enabling self-build Helen Town, Strategic Housing Officer, Cherwell District Council In this session participants will hear from Cherwell District Council which has recently committed to 10 self-build schemes of 200 homes in total. It will explore: the Council’s approach in supporting self-build schemes how the Council has enabled the 'right environment', what the challenges have been and how these have been overcome


Developing shared tenancies in social housing Julie McNaughton, Erimus Housing Ltd Lynsey Jones, Tees Valley Housing In this session participants will hear from organisations who have developed shared tenancies and will look at: how a housing option model has been developed to enable vulnerable younger people to move on from supported housing. consider how this approach be developed further as welfare reforms begin to limit choice for single people under 35's


Housing options for offenders Steve Goslyn, Chief Executive Sarah Cooke, Greater Manchester Offender Project (GMOP), Threshold Although the focus of this session is on offenders, it will be of interest to anyone who would like to improve access to accommodation for people with more complex needs. Offenders have always struggled to access accommodation in both the social and private rented sectors and welfare reform is predicted to worsen the situation, disproportionately affecting 25 34 year olds. Access to shared housing may pose a risk. Threshold, a charity, provides a number of services to homeless or vulnerable people, and has delivered the Greater Manchester Offender Project (GMOP) for four years, enabling offenders to access settled accommodation. In this session Threshold will: explain how the project has worked identify the barriers that have been faced what action has been taken to overcome these and what else is needed


Social (local) letting agencies Claire Baron, Yorhome Letting Agent, York City Council Leanne O’Leary, Housing Options Caseworker, York City Council In this session participants will hear from an established, self-financing, local lettings agent, Yorhome. Since 2009 Yorhome has expanded to manage 75 private rented homes, in a highly competitive private sector housing market. Lessons on developing and operating a scheme will be shared.


Housing options for changing affordable housing needs Emma Marsh, New Charter Housing Group Bryonie Shaw, New Charter Housing Group In this session participants will hear from New Charter Housing Group who have sought to: introduce a wide range of housing options, and to improve access, for example by introducing a social lettings agency and revising the allocations policy manage the impact of welfare reforms, specifically for under-occupying working-age tenants.

15.35 Going forward – challenges and opportunities Nick Atkin, Chief Executive, Halton Housing Trust David Clayton, Head of Making Best Use of Stock Team, CIH In this session Nick and David will reflect on the day and provide a summary of the action that can be taken to deliver the housing options we need now, and in the future. 16.00 Conference close

Access all options: Housing solutions for now Thursday 13th September 2012 York Racecourse

Delegate fees

Early booking discount: book by 2nd August 2012

Northern Housing Consortium Member



Non Member


£249 All delegate fees are shown excluding VAT.

How to book Online To book your delegate place at this event and to view our full terms & conditions and cancellation policy, please click below.

Book Online

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0191 566 1000 Please note any telephone reservations are made on a provisional basis and must be confirmed in writing within 2 working days.

Contact us For further information or if you have a query please contact a member of the events team: Telephone: 0191 566 1000 Email:

Download a copy of the programme here

Housing Options 2012  

Housing Options 2012

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