FREE INDEPENDENT HOUSING INFORMATION, ADVICE AND ADVOCACY SERVICE
Type III Accredited Housing Information, Advice & Advocacy Service
Our Housing Advice Service is accredited to Type III of the Scottish National Standards. Over the last 35 years we have provided independent information, advice and advocacy across all housing topics including homelessness, public and private rent sectors, owner occupiers, housing related benefits, disrepair and Landlord/Tenant disputes.
Our Team share good practice and case examples and provide peer support for each other. We provide internal and external training to organisations and within communities. We liaise with relevant South Ayrshire Council staff, partner agencies and tenants and keeps abreast of legislative changes which impact our Service Users.
We continue to be flexible in our approach to meet the needs of our service users and deliver outreaches at Ayr Jobcentre, Care and Share at Riverside Church, the Foodbank at Newton Primary as well at other local organised events and open days.
We strive to ensure our Service Users are claiming any benefits or discounts they are entitled to relieve poverty and increase incomes. In addition to this we access external alternative funding streams and grants to prevent homelessness and reduce poverty and isolation wherever possible.
PRISON HOUSING ADVICE SERVICE
The Prison Housing Advice Service covers both East and South Ayrshire areas and is fully supported by our existing Advice and Advocacy Service above. It provides a comprehensive service for Service Users who were resident in East and South Ayrshire Council Areas prior to going into prison and those who wish to return. The service is provided in HMP Kilmarnock, Barlinnie and Greenock.
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. 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.
TENURE SUSTAINMENT SERVICES
Our Sustainment Service achieved the highest grade (6) at our most recent inspection by the Care Inspectorate.
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 to Quarriers or SeAscape for long-term support if required
HOUSING EDUCATION FOR YOUTHS
HEY (Housing Education 4 Youths) Project
HEY provides appropriately structured information on housing and homelessness within Secondary Schools across South Ayrshire. We deliver the information across 2 lessons covering the costs involved in running a home; tenancy rights and responsibilities; reasons for homelessness; Cost of Living Crisis discussion, and challenging homeless stigma and misperceptions. From 2012 to 2020 we delivered HEY lessons to 6.450 pupils across all Secondary Schools in South Ayrshire. Lessons are designed to inform pupils on housing and homelessness at an appropriate level. Part of the development work includes feedback from pupils and teachers to improve future sessions. COSLA Bronze Award Winner 2015 for Strong and Sustainable Communities.