Fife Voices Housing Advocacy Project publishes first year Impact Report
A collaborative initiative designed to provide additional support to vulnerable tenants, promote tenancy sustainment and prevent homelessness within Fife has published its first Impact Report.
The report marks a successful first year for the Fife Voices Housing Advocacy Project, a partnership of Fife-based housing associations, with 107 customers referred to the service.
The service aims to give a voice to customers at risk of homelessness by providing advocacy support and has a strong social prescribing role. Customers accessing the project are given access to information on the range of support available, such as grants and entitlements, addiction support, social services, and health services.
Fife Voices is a three-year project and has been largely funded through a £167,000 grant from the Scottish Government Homelessness Prevention Fund and is being delivered by the Fife Housing Association Alliance, a partnership between Kingdom Housing Association, Fife Housing Group, Ore Valley Housing Association and Glen Housing Association, who collectively manage over 8,000 social rented properties in the Fife local authority area.
Bill Banks, Kingdom group chief executive, said: “I am delighted with the success of the Fife Voices project and the Impact Report demonstrates the great work that has been delivered in the first year. The first referral to the project was on 13 May 2021 and less than a year later the project had received its 100th referral. Fife Voices is a positive example of the continued collaborative working between the partner Housing Associations and will help to deliver a meaningful contribution to wider strategic efforts to reduce homelessness in Fife.”
Of particular importance to the project are referrals from new customers who have come from a homeless background and who are vulnerable, such as those with direct experience of domestic abuse, care leavers, ex-offenders, former members of the armed forces and those with serious health conditions. The project also works to support children and low-income families.
Richard Barnett, tenancy support services coordinator at Kingdom Housing Association, said: “The Fife Voices Project aims to break the cycle of homelessness by helping those experiencing housing issues secure the best possible outcomes. To see what our Housing Advocates have accomplished in building the service this year has been inspirational.
“We are grateful to the partners of the Fife Housing Association Alliance - Glen Housing Association, Fife Housing Group and Ore Valley Housing Association for supporting the delivery of the project. We also want to thank the Scottish Government, whose Homeless Prevention Fund has helped to establish some truly innovative projects tackling Homelessness across the country.”
Gavin Smith is service manager, housing access and homelessness, at Fife Council. He added: “Fife Voices demonstrates the Fife-based housing associations’ commitment to prevent homelessness and generate sustainable services to vulnerable people. The early evidence is encouraging and we need to build on this as we pace up all of our Rapid Rehousing Transition Plan priorities. There is no doubt that we face really challenging times ahead and it is vital that we continue to build our partnership approach to homelessness prevention and housing insecurity through projects such as Fife Voices.”