Islington Council has achieved a new milestone via Homefinder UK: over 100 homeless households successfully rehoused. Without this support, these families could still be stuck in temporary accommodation, rough sleeping, in overcrowded conditions or experiencing domestic abuse.
Islington follows the success of Barking and Dagenham and Lewisham councils - both achieved over 100 moves each. Islington's strategy is to continually engage with residents and social housing applicants.
Karen Lucas, Director of Housing Needs and Strategy, says:
"Since the Homelessness Reduction Act implementation, our housing options staff have been promoting Homefinder UK as an option for people who are potentially homeless. It is also part of their Personal Housing Plans."
Islington Council used other strategies to get housing applicants interested. They hung posters in their reception area and held events for homeless households to learn more about Homefinder UK. Islington also distributed letters with information about housing options available for their applicants.
"The key thing is to make people aware that they can move to other parts of the country. There are some fantastic properties on Homefinder UK with car parking spaces or gardens. Things you do not get in central London."
Kiran Aujla, Housing Triage manager at Islington, says:
"Homefinder UK has been an excellent success story in the council. One of the reasons I champion the service is that it is not just for families but also for single people. Many people I have worked with would not have a priority need under The Housing Act and would not ordinarily get a council/housing association property."
"We work closely with the case managers at Homefinder UK, receiving a fast response for any references, any outstanding documents or any questions tenants may have"
Case study – Fleeing violence and crime
Mr M was an ex-prisoner looking for a fresh start, however, this was derailed when his flat was cuckooed by a local gang. Mr M desperately wanted to move because he had no control of the activities happening in his flat. He also feared being harmed if he denied the gang access to his home.
He was referred to Homefinder UK by Islington Council. His case manager worked directly with him to find a suitable property in his area of choice. When he was offered a property in Wolverhampton, Mr M was pleased with the property, signed his tenancy and moved in soon after.
Mr M was extremely happy with his new home and has expressed his gratitude to Homefinder UK helpful case manager.
Visit our Success Stories page to hear from our member local authorities and housing associations on how Homefinder UK helped them relieve homelessness in their local area.