Independent Housing Information, Advice and Advocacy Service

Prison Housing Advice Service

The Prison Housing Advice Service covering both East and South Ayrshire areas is now supported by our existing Information, Advice and Advocacy Service.  It provides a type II service for Service Users who were resident in East and South Ayrshire Council Areas prior to going into prison. The service is provided in HMP Kilmarnock, Barlinnie and Greenock.

  • Provided by Julie Madden and Emma Gaughan

 

Housing Information, Advice & Advocacy Service

Our long standing Housing Advice Service is accredited to type III of the National Standards.  Over the last 30 years we have provided independent information, advice and advocacy across a wide range of housing topics including homelessness, public and private rent sectors, owner occupiers, housing related benefits, disrepair and Landlord/Tenant disputes.

  • Provided by Suzanne Slavin, Jill McNaught and Jacqui Monaghan

 

Our Welfare Reform Officer is responsible for ensuring that all staff can get answers quickly to specific Welfare questions in particular Universal Credit. Staff can bring individual problems which are arising from cases or general queries where clarification is required.  Leica provides Staff Bulletins and Tools and provides internal training.  Information is collated and posted on our Website.  She liaises with relevant South Ayrshire Council staff and Tenants.

  • Provided by Leica Malkin

 

ENGAGEMENT SERVICES

This service promotes Ayr Housing Aid Centre and raises awareness of the work we do by attending events, linking in with community groups and actively engaging with South Ayrshire Council and various local services.

Engagement Services are:

  • HEY
  • Sustainment Service
  • First Home Service
  • First Home – Capacity Building Programme
  • Home + Service

Housing Education for Youths

 

 

 

 

HEY (Housing Education for Youths) Project

HEY provides appropriately structured information on housing and homelessness within Secondary Schools across South Ayrshire.

We deliver the information over 2 lessons covering the costs involved in running a home, tenancy rights and responsibilities, reasons for homelessness and discussions on current Welfare Reform.

HEY lessons started in 2013 and have been developed each year, successfully delivering to 5212 pupils in the last 5 years.

Part of the development work includes feedback from pupils and Teachers to improve future sessions.

  • Provided by Suzanne Moffat and Gavin Kennedy

 

HEY was awarded a COSLA Bronze award in Strong and Sustainable Communities Category in 2015

 

Sustainment Service

Neil Gray provides a Sustainment Service, inspected by the Care Inspectorate achieving the highest grade (6) at our most recent inspection.

Key roles include:-

  • Crisis Intervention to prevent homelessness due to rent arrears/ mortgage arrears
  • Social, Private rented and owner occupied sectors
  • Primarily aim to stabilise tenure and encourage structure, involvement and interaction
  • Income Maximisation, Benefits Check, Backdating, Liaison with Landlord/Lender, Setting up repayment agreements, Dealing with Fuel Debt and linking with other services (Money Advice/Welfare Rights/ Addiction Services)
  • Main source of referral is South Ayrshire Council
  • Once crisis averted referred back to Housing Officer to refer to SeAscape for long-term support if recommended/required

First Home Service

First Home inspected by the Care Inspectorate achieving the highest grade (6) at our most recent inspection works with young people aged 16 – 24 who have a live housing application with South Ayrshire Council. The key aim of the service is to ensure that this age group who have applied for Council housing are provided with accurate information on the application process and tenant responsibilities.

 

Each young person is actively involved in assessing their own readiness of becoming a tenant and will complete various stages on their “First Home Journey” in preparation for moving into their first home.

First Home encourages young people to prepare for moving into independent living and/or avoid moving out of their current accommodation prematurely. We ensure young people are making informed choices and a secondary outcome of the service is to prevent premature tenancy failure which can disproportionately affect this age group.

The service has expanded to include young people who have been accepted as statutory homeless. The service encourages readiness with accurate information on the application process and tenant responsibilities in preparation for a successful transition from temporary accommodation to a permanent home.

Key Roles:-

  • Provide intensive service for 16 – 24 year olds who have a live South Ayrshire Council housing application
  • Direct Referral from Area Housing Offices
  • Assess tenant readiness
  • Outline tenant responsibilities
  • Build on readiness and preparation for tenancy
  • Assist with household bills and budgeting
  • Active signposting to internal and external additional services as required
  • Assist to sustain tenancy
  • Provide assistance to access further Education, Training and Employment
  • Provided by Suzanne Moffat, Fallon Heggie and Gavin Kennedy

First Home Service was awarded Outstanding People Award GOLD for Innovation Nov 2015

 

First Home – Capacity Building Programme

This programme is designed to increase skills over a 6 week period with the ultimate aim of equipping young people with the knowledge and capacity to successfully live independently while skills and confidence are increased.  Introductions are made to various local services who will play an important role when in their own tenancy and when they are looking at future progression routes such as further Education, Volunteering, Training and Employment Opportunities.

Key Aims:

  • Delivered once a week for 6 weeks
  • Provided with further information on moving into a tenancy
  • Introduces and increases knowledge and skills for life
  • Equips young people with increased capacity to successfully live independently
  • Builds confidence, resilience while developing practical skills
  • Introduces to local services such as South Ayrshire Council, Ayrshire College, Police Scotland, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Energy Agency
  • Establish portfolio containing useful information/hints and tips gained throughout the programme used as a reference tool for the future.
  • Encourages participants to take control of any future housing problems confidently and successfully
  • Discussions on further Education, Volunteering, Training and Employment Opportunities
  • A Box of useful items is presented to participants once they have successfully completed the Programme including items used throughout the programme, enabling them to continue building on the skills and knowledge gained and to use in their first home
  • Various certificates for recognition of completing the Programme are presented and act as a positive basis for future learning
  • Provided by Suzanne Moffat

 

COSLA award– First Home Project – Capacity Building Programme – Achieving Better Outcomes – Bronze Award Winner 2016

 

Home+ Service

Designed from Service User feedback and contract specification we wanted to reach the wider community and ensure practical / information sessions are available for those over the First Home age group.  4 Core sessions covering topics which were most preferred from our research. Information is delivered in an informal and enjoyable setting to encourage engagement, enjoyment, participation, resilience and capacity.

 

Core Sessions: 

Cooking on a budget

  • Basic knife safety, food preparation and healthy lifestyle options
  • Look at food cost differences and how to cook on a budget
  • Enable group confidence in cooking and showing healthier options while cooking on a budget and how to make money go further

Painting and Decorating

  • Practicalities of preparation work and tools needed to carry out decorating tasks
  • How to measure for lining paper, wallpaper, patterned paper
  • Mixing wallpaper paste, how to wallpaper and paint walls, glossing woodwork, amount of paint needed, etc, incorporating basic Health and Safety
  • Basic knowledge on how to decorate, developing practical skills

Universal Credit and Employment / Training

  • Welfare reform awareness including Universal Credit
  • How to maintain UC claim.
  • Changes in circumstances which can affect tenants
  • Local opportunities with Employability Team regarding Employment, Training and Education. How to access the service and what they have to offer
  • Local training services available and how to access funding opportunities

Budgeting, Money Saving and Tenancy know how

  • Basic budgeting and effective ways to save money including energy efficiency
  • Become more confident in using heating systems efficiently, info on how to provide accurate meter readings, resolving issues with fuel metres/suppliers and reducing fuel poverty
  • How to report repairs and process expectations from Landlord
  • Rights and responsibilities as a tenant

 

  • Provided by Suzanne Moffat

 

Community Engagement

Part of the work we do involves raising awareness of the Centre and engaging with the wider Community.  We attend various events, link with community groups and actively engage with South Ayrshire Council and other local services.

We have an active social media page and we always encourage the community to check for updates on community events we are attending and for general Centre updates.

  • Provided by Suzanne Moffat