Various housing and homelessness-related news.

Consultation on homelessness indicators

The Office for National Statistics is working in partnership with the charity Centre for Homelessness Impact (CHI) to create an indicator framework to measure homelessness across the UK.  CHI drives evidence-led change that achieves better outcomes for those experiencing or at risk of homelessness. The indicator framework will be based on CHI’s SHARE. SHARE identifies 5 focus areas that offer the best chance of driving significant change in ending homelessness. More information available at on the ONS website. They are looking for input to ensure that they are measuring the right areas, in relation to  homelessness.  The consultation can be accessed from the ONS link above, and closes on 10 July.

 

Energy bills

A report by Which? shows that elderly customers are usually the ones who are paying higher rates for services than they should be, The switching system, being usually web-based, is not accessible to them, and they are disadvantaged.  See a report in the Guardian for more on this, together with information about how to deal with the issue.

BT customers can call 0800 919 591 to get extra help and also give permission for someone else to speak on their behalf.

There is also a website ismybillfair.com which can help out if you are concerned for someone else.

In addition, from May 1, consumers are entitled to receive compensation of £30 if, when they switch energy suppliers, their original supplier fails to hand back any outstanding credit within 10 working days.  There is also automatic compensation of £120 for any energy customers who have been erroneously switched to another provider.  See the Guardian article on this for details.

Also, energy suppliers are being subjected to a financial health check by Ofgem, to protect consumers from the collapse of energy suppliers. The Independent has the full story.

 

Gas Safe charity funding

Cornwall Home Solutions has funding from the Gas Safe charity, which it can use to fund a variety of work ranging from a gas safety check or servicing of an appliance through to gas boilers repairs, with individual grants up to £500. There is still funding available and a short deadline (not clear when this is- sorry)! Guidance can be downloaded here: Gas Safe info 18-19.

Who is eligible?

All applicants must live in owner occupied accommodation and either:

  • Have a person with a disability living the house
  • Receive a means tested benefit such as the Guaranteed Pension Credit / Universal Credit or living on a low household income.

 To request assistance under the scheme call Cornwall Home Solutions: 01872 224707 or email: adaptationsteam@cornwall.gov.uk