New IT system to access housing services

Posted on: 13 April 2018

A new IT system has been introduced making it easier to access housing services for the
homeless.

Improvements to North Devon Council’s IT system mean that people in the North Devon district who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless can now register for support at a time that suits them. The new system available on the council website asks questions so that council officers can assess someone’s needs quicker and provide them with the right level of support for their need.

Anybody who doesn’t have access to IT can still visit council offices and speak to an advisor who will be able to help them complete the form online or do it for them. Officers are also available on the phone.

Leader of North Devon Council, Councillor Des Brailey, says: “The system is a positive step
forward for us in the age of information technology, enabling customers to access help over the internet whenever they need to. It has been live for a week with many customers using the new self-service portal. If somebody is homeless on the day then they should come into our officers and in person and speak to one of our duty officers as soon as possible. If it is over the weekend or outside of office hours please call us on our out of office number on 01271 388240.”

Leader of the Independent Group, Councillor Mike Edmunds, says: “I am so pleased the council is taking a proactive role with helping families that are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless; not only through the new technology but by having a cross-party committee to look at other ways the council can help these families.”

The improvements to the IT system are part of the council’s commitment to the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 which requires local authorities to assess and provide more meaningful assistance to all people who are eligible and homeless, or threatened with homelessness. The council has committed to supporting the new legislation by maximising its efforts to assist those in need as quickly as possible, working collaboratively with other organisations to prevent and relieve homelessness. Any support provided by the council will follow an assessment of the eligibility and needs of the applicant.

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