Housing Law Service
The Housing Law Service provide free legal advice and representation to individuals and families that are facing eviction from their homes across the East Midlands. Without access to this service these vulnerable people would face homelessness wit the ensuing fear and uncertainty that this brings.
January 2016 - December 2016
Across the East Midlands in 2013/2014, 5440 households were found to be homeless. Evictions across the East Midlands are rising and there is currently no legal aid available to anyone served with a Possession Warrant. Demand on capacity of services is increasing and predicted to rise as government austerity measures continue to be implemented. Those facing eviction have no means to afford legal representation in the courts and are desperate for specialist housing advice and support.
The Housing Law Service are a specialist team who provide immediate legal support to those attending or required to attend county court after receiving a Possession or Suspension Warrant. For those with a Possession Warrant, the team will apply for a Suspension warrant to delay proceeding for anything up to 28 days to allow them the opportunity to explore what can be done to avert eviction.They will look at the underlying issues such as debt, redundancy, ill health which has caused the crisis.
To prevent people being evicted from their property who do not have legal representation or advice.
Activities» Provide legal advice and ' Mckenzie Friend' representation (nominated advocate) within the county court to anyone facing eviction from their home.
Success will be measured by the number of people we support to avoid eviction. Numbers will be recorded by our internal monitoring system.
Provide support to help people tackle underlying issues that have led them to reach crisis point.
Activities» We will assess what support and advice they need to address the issues that have led them to reach crisis point and prevent any repetition.
» Refer people to appropriate supporting services who would assist them to secure alternative Framework or external suitable accommodation
We will record the number of people who have had a planned move to alternative accommodation. Document those that have been supported by appropriate internal/external services.
There will be a reduction in the number of individuals and families being evicted resulting in reduced demand on the public services and purse.
Success will be measured by the number of families and individuals that are prevented from becoming homeless.
By providing additional support to families and individuals to address their underlying causes of homelessness, we are able to reduce their future risk of eviction. The number of supporting service referrals will be monitored and recorded.
There is a risk that people attending court for eviction hearings may not have contacted the Housing Law service for assistance prior to the hearing.
The Housing Law Service have developed strong relationships with the courts and key legal personnel across the East Midlands. The courts now refer individuals or families without representation to the Housing Law Service and may grant a Suspension Warrant to allow the team to investigate the background to the case and provide necessary support.
Donors to this project will receive a 6 monthly and yearly report with the following information
number of people/families who have avoided eviction.
number of people who have had a planned move into alternative accommodation.
number of people who have received further support
Budget - Project Cost: £50,000Loading graph....
Amount Heading Description £20,098 Specialist Housing Officer This includes salary, National Insurance, Pension and Training £13,824 Specialist Legal Support Offic this includes salary, National Insurance, Pension and Training £4,864 Specialist Legal Advice Assist This includes salary, National Insurance, Pension, £8,214 Staff Overheads Utility costs, travel expenses, promotional material £3,000 Court Fees 60 x £50 to lodge a Suspension Warrant
The Housing Law Service is based at Mansfield, where the majority of eviction hearings from Nottinghamshire are held but the service also works across Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire and Derbyshire providing support to those in need across the region.
We have various offices and drop-in centres throughout the East Midlands where those requiring assistance can be refferred to our Housing Law Service, which helps to avoid the cost of travel for individuals and families.
Individuals and families facing eviction are the main beneficiaries of the project. These people may have suffered health issues, relationship breakdowns or may be suffering from the effects of changes to the welfare system.
The wider community also benefit. Research suggests that the average cost to local authorities of a case of homelessness is around £24,000, this does not reflect the additional cost in terms of health, education and strains on the benefit system.
Framework is the largest regional homeless charity outside London. The Housing Law Service has been working across the region for over a decade and has built up strong relationships with the courts, partner agencies and accommodation providers. We have the specialist knowledge and infrastructure in place to successfully operate this service. We have officers and drop in services for those who need assistance with housing issues.
Read more about the Charity running this project.
Sarah Lloyd - Specialist Housing Advisor
A non practising barrister offering representation and advice. Sarah leads the team and has established links with the courts.
Phillip Bird - Specialist Legal Support Officer
Phil has over ten years experience of advocating and supporting those facing eviction and is skilled in referring to appropriate supporting services.
Rebecca Ramsey - Specialist Legal Advice Assistant
Rebecca ensures the service adheres to the Advice Quality Standard. She delivers paperwork to the courts and passes referrals to other agencies.
Pays court costs to prevent immediate homelessness
My boyfriends death tore my world apart; I thought I was going to lose my home. I didn’t think there was any hope, that changed when I met Framework.