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THE QUALITY OF THE SERVICE TO HOMELESS PEOPLE IN BOURNEMOUTH IS 'GOOD'

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The homeless and housing advice provided by Bournemouth BC has been rated as good although it has uncertain prospec...
The homeless and housing advice provided by Bournemouth BC has been rated as good although it has uncertain prospects for improvement, according to an independent report from the Audit Commission.

The Audit Commission inspection team gave the service two stars out of a possible three.

Abdool Kara, head of housing in the southern region, said: 'Bournemouth has successfully reduced the number of people made homeless and those sleeping rough in the town centre. Given the scale of the problem faced this is quite an achievement and reflects the wide range of initiatives implemented in the last 18 months. However, for this to be sustained, its performance will need to be better managed and improvement plans firmed up.'

The inspection report does highlight a number of key strengths:

Homelessness has been prevented in many cases by finding solutions before someone loses their home;

The use of bed and breakfast hotels has been minimised with people now staying in good quality temporary housing or being housed permanently; and

When people do become homeless they are helped in finding a new home and to deal with personal and health problems.

However, inspectors also found weaknesses such as:

People in temporary housing are not always kept informed of progress with their applications for permanent housing; and

Limited information is available to customers about the service they can expect.

To help the service improve, inspectors made a number of recommendations, including:

Ensure that all temporary accommodation remains good quality; and

Provide all service users with more information about the service they receive.

Copies of the report are available from Bournemouth BC or on the Audit Commission Inspection website at www.audit-commission.gov.uk

NOTES:

Bournemouth BC assists those people who have become homeless or who are threatened with homelessness. This includes the provision of advice and support as well as considering applications for housing.

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