Chart 5 shows the three types of Housing Options activities undertaken by local authorities since the scheme began. During the 2018/19 financial year (April 2018 to March 2019) the majority of approaches (23,032 approaches, 54% of all approaches) resulted in activities which did not exceed Type I advice - active information, sign-posting and explanation. Type II advice (casework) was carried out in a further 19,749 approaches (46%). Only in the remaining 72 approaches was the top level Type III advice (advocacy, representation and mediation at tribunal or court action level) carried out (see Table 5).
Chart 5: Intensity of activity types completed for Housing Options approaches by quarter
Since monitoring began, the most common type of activity has been to provide general housing advice and tenancy rights advice. Since April 2014, this activity type has typically fluctuated between 37% and 41%, although it has fallen to 35% over the most recent quarter (January to March 2019). The proportion of cases informing clients of their rights under the homelessness legislation has typically fluctuated between 24% and 28%, though it rose to 29% for the most recent quarter. All other activity (this includes activities such as financial advice and assistance in moving out of a property) has fluctuated between 34% and 37% over the same time period, and remains at 36% for the most recent quarter. The mix of activities at the national level has remained fairly static since monitoring began, with no activity changing its share by more than five percentage points (Table 6 and Chart 6).
Chart 6: Types of activities completed for Housing Options approaches by quarter
Again there is wide variation in the mix of activities offered by Local Authorities and some of this may be due to differences in how activities are recorded (Table 7 and Chart 7). During 2018/19, 67% of Clackmannanshire’s activities were to inform clients of their homelessness rights. Over the same time period, 75% of Orkney’s activities related to providing general housing and tenancy rights. In Falkirk, 71% of activities were taken up with other activities such as providing financial advice.
Chart 7: Housing Options activities by Local Authority, 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019
NB: The primary activity type per application is shown here. The PREVENT 1 data specification requires only one activity type per application. Thus, while some applicants may have recorded that they received general housing advice primarily, they may also have received information of their rights under the homelessness legislation – this is not recorded in the chart.