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2013 – NO.6

Mapping the benefit landscape

The end of the ASBO? The Anti-social Crime and Policing Bill 2013-2014

Housing support services?

Building across Europe

Housing First

Contents 03 04

CEO’s Comment Mapping the benefit landscape Geoffrey Ferres


Is there any scope for personalising housing support? Burcu Borysik and Sue Baxter


Innovation and capacity building across Europe Ray Naicker


The end of the ASBO? The Anti-social Crime and Policing Bill Roselee Molloy


Cover Story The end of the ASBO? The Anti-social Crime and Policing Bill 2013-2014

Housing First – the first move from homelessness Nicholas Pleace and Joanne Bretherton, from the Centre for Housing Policy at York University discuss Camden Housing First, an innovative pilot project developed by SHP and funded by Camden Council.

Sitra Staff Chief Executive Vic Rayner Deputy Chief Executive Lisa Harrison Policy Officers Adam Knight-Markiegi Geoffrey Ferres Sue Baxter Policy and Research Co-ordinators Dani Cohen Burcu Borysik Business Development Manager Kathleen Egan

Contracts Officers Anna Robertson Wendy Green Business Support Lana Lewis Sarah Pink Helen Northover Head of Finance & Central Services Berihu Mohammed Finance Officer Ray Naicker Finance Assistant Alison Quinn

Office Co-ordinator Gill Cotton Central Support Monica Antolin Interns Roselee Malloy Alice Cheatle Jordan Gerlack Georgina Gorton

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Charity Reg No 290599 Company Reg No 1869208 ISSN 0956-6678 Sitra is partly funded by DCLG.

CEO’s Comment

Getting Personal Goodbye 2013…………. Personalisation remains a key agenda item for Sitra, and as the official end to the Right to Control Trailblazers passed on the 13th December, we are busy exploring just how much personalisation has become embedded in the agendas of local authority commissioners. In a study supported by the DCLG, Sitra colleagues have been conducting phone interviews with LA commissioners across the country. The research will be published in the New Year, We have begun work on the project to develop core competences for Housing Support across Europe. The first stage of this is an exciting research project by the University of York scoping out the shape of supported housing provision across Europe, and the kinds of training intervention developed to support practitioners across the countries involved. In February Sitra will be hosting the first kick off meeting bringing together partners from Greece, Slovenia, Italy, France, Denmark, Ireland, Belgium, Finland and UK. If you are interested to hear more about this exciting project to develop core training and competences embedded with coproduction, then do contact me for more details.

Vic Rayner Chief Executive Email:

This edition also provides an update on the research carried out by Sitra between July and September, which focussed on 6 localities across England, scoping the housing costs of working age tenants in supported housing. The research reflects on the value of existing data sources and finds that in its current form, it is insufficient in understanding the scope of the whole sector. In addition it brings to light the level of mixed communities that exist within supported housing, finding levels of working age adults in sheltered provision and similarly older people in mental health services. We will continue to focus on this research, and how it can be used to contribute towards the longer term solution to dealing with supported housing costs under the government’s programme for welfare reform. Reforms to Anti Social Behaviour legislation has been a hotly debated topic – and Sitra are keen to ensure members are kept upto date with these changes. Rose from our policy and research team discusses the new legislation in advance of a new Sitra briefing and information session in the New Year. She focusses on key components of the law including the thrust to deliver justice to victims and to use the legislation as a tool to empower communities. Finally – this edition gives you a further update on Housing First. Riding on the back of the success of a recent breakfast briefing, this update directs you to resources to expand your understanding of this approach to working to a Housing First model. In addition, it picks up on approaches to Housing First in Wales, broadening understanding across the UK. 2014 beckons, and I wish you all best wishes for the festive season. About Sitra Sitra is a membership organisation championing excellence in housing, support and care. Membership benefits include discounts on all services and events, access to free advice, an annual subscription to the bulletin and regular briefings on key policy developments in the sector. Sitra works with local and central government to ensure that the needs of its members are recognised, understood and met by resource providers. If you would like to join Sitra please contact the Membership Administrator on 020 7793 4710 and ask for an application form, or download one from Content ©2013 SITR (Services) Ltd except where stated, All right reserved. All images © individual photographers & illustrators. Opinions expressed by individuals writers are not necessarily those of Sitra or the magazine’s Editorial Team. E&OE. Design: Aquatint BSC 020 8947 8571

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Mapping the benefit landscape

Civil servants have already made a start on preparing a new consultation on what is to happen to Housing Benefit for supported housing when Housing Benefit has been abolished – still, officially, only four years away. Sitra’s Geoffrey Ferres looks at a piece of research conducted by Sitra that aimed to inform the debate that lies ahead. The Government keeps saying it thinks the best way to handle the problem of helping with the additional costs of supported housing for people of working age in future is to keep those costs out of Universal Credit and give the responsibility in England to local authorities – while allowing Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to run their own national schemes if they wish. So we thought our research would help test how easy it is to establish: l What specialist housing for vulnerable people there is, who runs it and who it’s for l How much Housing Benefit is going to supported housing tenants of working age. The Government’s 2011 consultation1 showed it did not know then and it has not done anything since to find out. But without answers to these questions, can a new system be properly designed and safely implemented? And whatever the merits of any system the Government proposes, if it cannot be sure how much

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Housing Benefit is being spent, how can it hand over the correct amount to whoever is to take over the responsibility? From our study and additional analysis we have conducted, we have found there are some pretty serious obstacles to the Government getting any reform right at the moment. We found: l Specialist housing for vulnerable people cannot be mapped using existing databases – either on their own or in any combination l Housing Benefit data on exempt status is incomplete and variable l There is not a neat separation between provision for people over and under pension age that mirrors the Government’s separate approach to benefits for these two groups.

Existing databases Whilst the Homes and Communities Agency collects and publishes data annually from all providers registered with it on what it defines as “supported housing” and

“housing for older people”, there is no corresponding data for local authorities. Where local authorities have retained stock, they can be the main providers of specialist housing for vulnerable people in their own area because they often have a huge amount of sheltered housing for older people. Local authorities’ sheltered housing is usually recorded in the Elderly Accommodation Counsel’s fantastic database2 but not their supported housing. Local authority sheltered and supported housing is even invisible in Housing Benefit data because it can never count as “exempt accommodation”.3

Benefit data This is not the only problem with Housing Benefit data. New statistics are being gathered monthly from Housing Benefit departments by the Government but we found local authorities are as confused as landlords and support providers about what is and what is not exempt accommodation – the rule is

complicated and the processing of claims does not always give the Housing Benefit department information on who receives support and whether they receive it from their landlord.

Mixed communities Of course, you don’t find pensioners in teenage parent services, but we found significant numbers of people of working age living in sheltered housing and – to our surprise – of people over pension age in supported housing for people with mental health problems. So it will create a mess if the replacement of Housing Benefit is handled separately in Universal Credit and Pension Credit: they need to be considered together.

Local variation We also found that benefit-eligible rents in sheltered housing tend to be lower than those for any other kind of

specialist housing for vulnerable people. That could be a strong argument for leaving ordinary sheltered housing rents in Universal Credit – and the rent element of Pension Credit (which has not yet been designed)4. If this happened, there would be hardly any specialist housing in many areas to cover in any new system: even many of the more rural of the newer unitary authorities have hardly any specialist housing for vulnerable people apart from sheltered housing for older people. We found that supported housing for socially excluded groups is heavily concentrated in major population centres. In Homes and Communities Agency data less than 10% of local authorities have about 40% of supported housing – a group that includes over a dozen London boroughs, the eight members of the Core Cities group5 and a few other authorities like Bradford, Brighton and Southampton. This also suggests the right amount of funding would not reach the right

local authorities unless it were based on historic data rather than the supposedly needs-based models normally used for allocating Government funding to local authorities. Otherwise, the authorities with large amounts of supported housing would feel themselves shortchanged. From what we can see, the chances of the Government coming up with a new model in which the housing care and support world can have confidence may present challenges for the year ahead. Department for Work and Pensions, 2011. Housing Benefit Reform – Supported Housing. Proposals for change in the way Housing Benefit assists those living in supported housing within the social and Voluntary sector with their rent. An analysis of the responses to this consultation has yet to be published. 2 Available at: 3 The only exception is housing provided by local authorities that have no housing responsibilities – English shire counties such as Kent. 4 Extra Care sheltered rents tended to be much higher than ordinary sheltered rents. 5 This group, formed in 1995, consists of: Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield. 1

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Is there any scope for personalising housing support services? Sitra has been commissioned by DCLG to scope the sector response to implementing personalisation in housing related support services/ The research will be based on interviews with HRS commissioners across 152 local authorities of England. This study will identify: l How housing support commissioners are responding to the challenges of offering clients in their locality more choice and control l How personalised current services are l What the scope for further development of personalisation across the sector is This study will ascertain commissioners’ views and experiences of: l Different models, including but not limited to personal budgets l Barriers to implement personalisation in housing support All names of authorities and commissioners will be anonymised.

If you are interested in taking part in the personalisation research, please contact Burcu – or Sue –

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31 October 2013 Housing Related Support: Personalisation Scoping Study

I am writing to ask you to take part in a small research project which Sitra is undertaking on behalf of the Department of Communities and Local Government. The project is to examine how local authorities are exploring approaches to personalisation in the commissioning of housing related support services (HRS) (also known as Supporting People services).

As you probably know, Sitra is an umbrella organisation for practitioners in housing with care and support, with considerable expertise in this field. We have commissioned Sitra to conduct the study to support the Government’s policy of the personalisation of services The aim of the study is to identify from the commissioners’ perspective the benefits or otherwise of different forms of personalisation and the barriers which may prevent wider adoption of the approach; the study will also suggest ideas about how barriers might be overcome. This work will complement other work Sitra is doing on our behalf including identifying, collecting and disseminating good practice being developed by providers. I fully appreciate there are many demands on an authorities’ time but I hope you will be able to support this study. The research will take the form of a 20 minute telephone interview. You should discuss any detailed issues concerning the study with Sitra, though we would be very happy to talk through any background to this work or any general questions you may have. Contact Corinne Gray in my team on 0303 444 2014 or e-mail at Many thanks in advance for your co-operation in this study Yours sincerely

Paul Downie Head of Homelessness &Support Division

Innovation and capacity building across Europe Sitra’s first EU project application approved for funding, announced Sitra’s Ray Naicker. In January 2013, Sitra in partnership with 13 organisations based across 9 EU countries including EASPD won the bid for a project within the Leonardo da Vinci Transfer of Innovation 2013 call. The project start date is 1st October 2013 and will run for two years. The project is called European Core Learning Outcomes for Integration of Support and Housing or ELOSH. European Core Learning Outcomes for Integration of Support and Housing was developed in response to reports published by the European Expert Group on the Transition from Institutional to Community Based Care and CEDEFOP (European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training).1 This is an on-going process in the EU and to achieve this, the project will identify and strengthen key staff competences across the housing and support sector and seek to improve services in the face of policy and societal changes. The availability of trained personnel to work in the community will affect how quickly new services can be put in place. Most importantly, welltrained and motivated personnel can ensure that institutional practices are not replicated in community settings. This chapter outlines a process of workforce development that countries can follow while moving from institutional to community-based services in order to sustain the provision of quality services in the community.

Giving service users voice and choice The project will transfer innovative learning outcomes and training materials that have been developed

by Sitra and will be underpinned by and promote co-production principles. Partners will blend and adapt these innovative learning outcomes and materials to create an adaptable European pack. The European pack will be tested in 7 countries by housing and support providers, working with training providers and service users. Hence, principles of coproduction is recognised as central to ELOSH amongst all partners and will be firmly embedded to develop and stimulate growing demand for this type of CVET across the European Union.

Capacity building across Europe The project will be split into six work programmes to deliver a series of pre-defined objectives and will ultimately take the form of a training pack which will also be available as an online resource for a wider audience. The project will evaluate learning and identify next steps for embedding outcomes in relevant European, national and regional systems and processes. It will be undertaken by a consortium of partners at EU and national level, including providers of housing and support services for vulnerable groups; providers of training for frontline staff and managers in these

services; service users; and research institutions. The outcomes could also be adapted to train a range of related stakeholders such as local, regional and national level policymakers and funders. Project update The University of York will prepare a report on support and housing services in Europe following the first EU partner meeting. The report will also include references to the availability of training for staff of housing services. The methodology of the project. 1 To think about the range and the nature of support services and look at different models 2 To map the support services available and the training/qualifications available to staff A 30 page report will be available by mid-January 2014. We will then identify the core competencies from this research report which will be discussed at the second partner meeting in February.

The project will address the need for Continuous Vocational Education and Training (CVET) on the integration of support and housing for vulnerable people; driven by two key processes in the sector: deinstitutionalisation and personalisation.


© European Expert Group on the Transition from Institutional to Community-based Care, November 2012



The end of the ASBO? The Anti-social Crime and Policing Bill 2013-2014

Anti-social behaviour laws are getting a dramatic overhaul with an emphasis on empowering victims and getting perpetrators to address the causes of their behaviour. Sitra’s Rose Molloy provides a summary of what’s changing. The Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill is moving through Parliament at speed and is expected to receive Royal Assent in the Spring. It will mean the end of the Anti-Social Behaviour Order (ASBO), the Anti-Social Behaviour Injunction (ASBI) and the raft of legislation currently governing antisocial behaviour (ASB). These tools are being replaced with six new powers which are intended to streamline the process and bring swift justice to victims while requiring offenders to address the underlying causes of their antisocial behaviour: 1. The Injunction Against Nuisance and Annoyance (IPNA) 2. The Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO) 3. A new Absolute Ground for eviction and two new discretionary grounds for eviction 4. Dispersal powers for the police 5. Public space, community protection and closure orders 6. Community Trigger and Community Remedy to aid victims of ASB

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The Injunction Against Nuisance and Annoyance The IPNA will replace ASBIs, drinking banning orders on application (DBO), intervention orders, individual support orders and ASBOs on application. It is a civil injunction but arrest is available in some circumstances. Registered providers will be able to file for an IPNA when there is anti-social activity that relates to, or affects their housing management function. In stark contrast to existing ASB laws, an IPNA can require the offender to attend treatment or otherwise address the underlying causes of their antisocial behaviour. However the new law is silent on who will pay for these ‘positive’ requirements.

The Criminal Behaviour Order The CBO replaces the ASBO on conviction and BDO on conviction. It can only be applied for by the

Crown Prosecution Service and is only available following a criminal conviction. Along with prohibiting certain activities, a CBO can also impose positive requirements on an offender. Examples of positive requirement include drug or alcohol treatment, responsible dog ownership classes or anger management. Again, funding for positive requirements has not been identified. Another significant difference from the ASBO is that the CBO does not require that the Order be ‘necessary’ but merely that the Order ‘help prevent’ antisocial behaviour.

New Grounds for Possession The law gives private and social landlords a new ‘absolute ground’ for possession which aims to speed up the eviction process in cases of anti-social behaviour. Under this ground the court must grant the order for possession if the tenant (or a member of their family or guest) has been convicted of a serious

offence or ASB. In effect, a landlord could regain possession of a property by simply showing the court that a secured tenant has breached a CBO. However, when the landlord is a public authority (or acting as a public authority) the absolute ground is vulnerable to a human rights defence and showing that the eviction is a proportionate response. In addition, there will be two new discretionary grounds for eviction: riot-related offences and anti-social behaviour directed towards a landlord or their staff. With riot related offences, a landlord could seek possession if the tenant (or member of the tenant’s family or guest) has been convicted of riot related offences anywhere in the UK, regardless of locality. Under the second new discretionary ground, a landlord could file for possession if the tenant (or member of the tenant’s family or guest) was found guilty of ASB against the landlord, their contractors or staff, regardless of locality. As with the absolute ground, these new discretionary grounds would be subject to a human rights defence of proportionality.

Dispersal Powers, Community Protection Notices, Public Space Protection Orders and Closure Orders The dispersal powers enable the police to ban a person from a public area for up to 48 hours based on a reasonable suspicion that their behaviour has caused alarm, harassment or distress. The Community Protection Notice can be issued by registered providers or police or local authority. It replaces litter clearing notices, defacement removal notices and street litter control notices. The Public Space Protection Order allows the local authority to prohibit activities in a specified area. It replaces alcoholcontrol zones, dog-control orders and gating orders. Closure orders allow the police to close a property that is at the heart of anti-social activity, such as a drug house.

Victim Empowerment Empowering communities and delivering justice to victims is a key component of the law. To that end, the Community Trigger allows local, multi-agency panels to review cases and implement solutions swiftly and completely. Every locality will have a community trigger panel with members from the police, local authority, health teams and housing providers. This group can approach the problem on multiple fronts to provide lasting solutions for the victim and the whole community. The law requires the panel to inform and consult the victim at each stage and the victim has the right to appeal any decision of the panel. Community remedies are another area were victims and providers can come together with the police to develop a comprehensive solution to ASB. A ‘menu’ of community remedies will be developed locally, incorporating the ideals of restorative justice. These remedies will be available for lowlevel crime and ASB as an alternative to a conditional caution or more formal police action. Some examples of community remedies include: mediation, acceptable behaviour contracts, structured activities (mentorship programs), or reparation to the community (doing local unpaid work for up to 10 hours). The victim would need to be consulted on which community remedy would be offered, though

the police make the final decision on proportionality.

Other provisions The law also addresses a myriad of disparate issues including: increasing the penalties for forced marriage, extending the reach of dangerous dog laws to private property, modifying sexual harm prevention orders, and increasing the penalties for firearms possession.

What can providers and residents expect? It is clear that residents and providers of social housing must be active participants if this new approach is to reach its potential and reduce ASB. Providers will need to dedicate staff resources to training in the new IPNA and CBO system as well as having an on-going staff commitment to community trigger panels. Residents will need to familiarise themselves with the new community trigger procedures and provide input on the community remedy options in their area. Residents will also need to comment on proposed Public Space Orders, Community Protection Orders. What is less clear is how often the court will impose positive requirements on perpetrators of ASB and how effective the absolute ground for eviction will be. Sitra Breakfast Briefing At the time of writing, The Antisocial Crime and Policing Bill is in the Committee Stage at the House of Lords and numerous substantive amendments have been proposed. We will provide updates at the briefing, on the Sitra website and in a final summary once it is signed into law. Contact to register for our February briefing on how anti-social behaviour laws are changing and how these might affect your organisation.



SHP and Camden Housing First: A Successful Pilot of ‘Housing First’ in London Nicholas Pleace and Joanne Bretherton, from the Centre for Housing Policy at York University discuss Camden Housing First, an innovative pilot project developed by SHP and funded by Camden Council. Drawing on the approach pioneered by Pathways to Housing in New York, Camden Housing First is focused on chronically homeless people. These are people characterised by recurrent, sustained homelessness with high rates of problematic drug and alcohol use, severe mental illness, long term worklessness and poor physical health. Camden Housing First targeted people who had been ‘stuck’ in the Camden hostels pathway for at least three years. Other Housing First projects have been used to replace similar, hostel-based, systems designed to train and support chronically homeless people to become housing ready and able to live more independently within the community. However, Camden Housing First was designed to help chronically homeless people who had not completed the existing Camden hostel pathway to housing readiness, i.e. they had never been assessed as reaching a point where they could live more independently. As with other Housing First services, Camden Housing First was designed to very quickly provide service users with a settled home without any requirement that to comply with psychiatric or other medical treatment, stop using drugs or alcohol (where that was an issue) or to demonstrate housing

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readiness in other respects. Service users were provided with housing under their own tenancy in the private rented sector, with mobile support services being offered to them to help successfully sustain their new tenancies. Two specialist support workers, with a caseload of five people each, provided mobile ‘intensive case management’ (ICM) services during and following the rehousing process. Support was open-ended, within, the confines of the pilot projects two year duration. Alongside direct practical, informational and emotional support, the support workers also facilitated access to any care, health or other support required. This included working with the service user to tackle issues including poor social supports, isolation and boredom. As in other Housing First services, a harm reduction approach with a recovery orientation was used, supporting engagement with treatment and drug and alcohol services, but never making this a requirement.

Evaluation An independent evaluation of Camden Housing First, supported by the University of York and SITRA, was conducted over 18 months by the Centre for Housing Policy at the University of York.

This evaluation found that Camden Housing First was achieving housing stability among a group of people with sustained and recurrent experiences of homelessness, high rates of severe mental illness and poor physical health, histories of anti-social behaviour, criminality and sustained worklessness and often highly problematic use of drugs and alcohol. Many had not lived in their own home for many years or ever lived independently. Most were aged in their late 30s and 40s. The extensive use of hostels and supported housing by this group of service users over many years had been, cumulatively, very financially expensive.

Achieving benefits Alongside achieving housing stability, Camden Housing First service users also achieved gains in well-being, reductions in drug and alcohol use and anti-social behaviour and increases in engagement with treatment. The relatively intensive, flexible, tolerant and respectful ways in which support was delivered by Camden Housing First was viewed very positively by service users. While not a low-cost service, there was evidence that Camden Housing First was an efficient use of financial resources. Sustaining chronically homeless people in their

own homes was being achieved for no more, and sometimes markedly less, expenditure than keeping them in hostels and temporary supported housing. The Camden Housing First project had faced some challenges. The project, unlike other Housing First pilots elsewhere in London, did not have priority access to social housing. This meant a reliance on finding private rented flats with rent levels that would be covered by Housing Benefit. Given the clients’ high needs and instances, of historic anti-social behaviour, Camden Housing First did not house service users in groups. This meant securing affordable private-rented onebedroomed flats across London, a process that initially presented many hurdles.

Building Relationships The specialist support workers worked intensively to form working relationships with letting agents, persuading and reassuring them their service users would pay their rent and not exhibit anti-social behaviour. Over time, a network of letting agents was established and the service began to successfully access and use private rented housing. Service users were successfully housed in properties across London, though securing housing actually within Camden remained difficult. The Camden Housing First model has the potential for wider deployment across London. This model can support chronically homeless people ‘stuck’ in existing hostel-based pathways. Consideration should also be given to using this model along the lines that Housing First is usually employed as a replacement for hostel-based pathways or staircases designed to progress chronically homeless people to housing readiness. The Camden Housing First model has the potential to quickly and sustainably end chronic homelessness and to prevent it occurring among at risk groups.

Housing First on the Isle of Anglesey Support for rough sleepers and homeless people over 25 was identified by Anglesey County Council as a commissioning priority. The temporary night shelter provision was no longer sustainable and repeat homelessness was increasingly being recognised as a barrier to good life opportunities for a persistent number of people. A partnership of stakeholders was established to oversee implementation and design of the new service and users of the night shelter and other potential service users were active from developing the business case to the procurement of the new provider to Angelsey, The Wallich. The Wallich provides support to 12 people l It offers ‘chronically’ homeless people immediate access to dispersed-site permanent accommodation with no abstinence or treatment prerequisites. This will requires robust and effective risk management policies and procedures l Assertive and comprehensive floating support is delivered. The Key Worker acts as a link person and coordinate the input of other services depending on the needs assessment and agreed support plan. l Support is not time-limited (although continuing support is reviewed regularly) and the support employs a harm reduction approach to substance misuse. l Rapid housing through effective partnerships with social landlords and crucially, the private sector l Access to support is 24/7 including on call service at night l Support is person centred l Individual budgets are available l Volunteers are recruited to provide additional support

Housing First approaches are based on the concept that a homeless individual’s first and primary need is to obtain stable housing, and that other issues that may affect them can and should be addressed once housing is obtained. There is no requirement to demonstrate ‘housing readiness’ or to be abstinent from alcohol or other substances. This in contrast to ‘staircase’ or ‘pathway’ approaches, which predominate in many European countries including the UK. Sitra, together with SHP, London Borough of Camden and York University launched the evaluation of Housing First on the 19th November. You can find the full report and presentations from the day on housing-first-evaluation



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Sitra bulletin no 6 2013 final  

The latest Sitra Bulletin where you can find articles about: Anti-Social Crime & Policing Bill, Housing Benefit, Personalisation in Housing...

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