Minister names first wave of 12 local authorities to receive £350,000 to develop an integrated housing advice service

Housing minister Caroline Flint today named the 12 councils selected to receive extra funding to develop an integrated housing advice service for local residents.

The “trailblazer” councils will be the first able to offer housing advice that not only covers the full range of housing options – from social housing to shared ownership to private rental – but is also linked with related issues such as training, employment and childcare.

The trailblazers will each receive up to £350,000 to develop their housing advice services, forming links to employment advice and other services in accordance with locally identified needs.

The move towards a one-stop-shop approach to housing advice aims to enable people to make fully informed decisions about where to live that fit their individual circumstances, without having to turn to several different places to find advice.

Speaking at Focus E15, an east London foyer run by East Potential that provides support, training and accommodation to young people in housing need, Flint said: “I've seen at first hand the real difference that can be made by giving young people access to both housing and employment advice and we want this opportunity to be available to everyone. These new trailblazers will do just that. They will be a stepping stone to independence, giving people the advice they need to find training and a job as well as a home.”

Plans among the trailblazers for developing their integrated advice services include offering IT lessons or holding a weekly job club at the housing office.

The trailblazers will share best practice with a second wave of 20 other councils to receive funding for similar services in 2009/10. Bids for the second wave are now being assessed.

The trailblazers




Hammersmith and Fulham