Bristol City Council will look at new ways to help young people to remain living with their families following a decision by Cabinet last night.
The Young People’s Housing and Independence Pathway Plan sets out proposals for changing the way the council and its partners work, so they are better equipped to help young people and their families resolve their housing problems before they reach crisis point.
Cabinet has also given the go ahead for the council to go out to select a partner for a new youth housing hub – an integrated service to be run jointly by an external partner with the council.
The hub will be the main place young people will go if they are at risk of homelessness, and dedicated staff will work to prevent them being taken into care or ending up on the streets.
The new pathway will focus on early information and intervention, with the aim to keep young people with their families. Where this is not possible, staff would assess the best options for each individual and look to access and sustain suitable accommodation to prevent the risk of homelessness.
The council will also be working with Caring in Bristol to provide short-term emergency or respite placements in host’s homes for stays of up to 45 days. This will be an alternative to placements in larger homeless hostels.
Councillor Clare Campion-Smith, Cabinet Member for People, said: “There is a serious shortage of affordable housing in Bristol and it is particularly difficult for young people to access housing they can afford.
“In creating this new approach, officers listened to young people using services, to understand their experience and needs and find out what they want from services.
“The best place for most young people to live is at home with their families, as long as it is safe to do so. Living on your own is not only very expensive, it can be difficult and lonely for young people.”
The aim of the new plan is to work more effectively across the council, and with partners, to provide an integrated approach focused on:
- Making sure young people, their families and those who work with them have information and guidance to understand housing options and plan when and how young people will leave the family home or leave care.
- Pro-actively preventing housing crisis and supporting young people to live with their family if it’s safe to do so, including returning home from care.
- Ensuring processes, including assessment and allocation of housing, are clear to young people and offering to help them access the most appropriate service to meet their needs.
- Having a suitable range of value for money accommodation and support options to meet the varying needs of Bristol’s young people.
- Helping young people to access and sustain settled accommodation, which will usually need to be shared.