Portsmouth City Council: Housing and Homelessness

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Dear Portsmouth City Council,
I am requesting the following information:

1. How many people are under Council’s Housing waiting list at present ?
Would you please specify the age group, gender and the number of minorities,BME community who are in the council's housing waiting list.

2. Would you please give specify how many people have applied for one bedroom, two bedroom, three bedroom, four bedroom,Five bedroom in year 2012-2013?

3.Please provide number of how many people you have accommodated following the statutory duty under housing act who have been declared themselves as homeless and sissified the homelessness assessment process. Please give number by year starting from January 2012 to December 2013.Please also specify their gender,age group and if possible ethnic identity.

4.Please provide number the people who are in current council waiting list who are homeless.

5.Please share what are the present council policy to address homelessness. And how council is allocating budget for that.

6.Please share the total number of council house and please specify the type of the house and number and area and how many are current empty.

7.Please provide how much council had spent yearly since January 2012 to December 2013,to build new council house/flat.

8.According to the Housing Act 1996 (as amended by the Homelessness Act 2002) all Local Authorities must have a Homelessness Strategy in place What are the homelessness strategy of the Council council.Please share the yearly the yearly of starting from January 2012 to December 2013.

10. Under Part VII of the Housing Act 1996 (as amended by the Homelessness Act 2002) Council has certain responsibilities towards people who are homeless or threatened with
homelessness. Would you please provide number, age,gender to whom you provided service following the specific law.

11.How long you take to process housing benefit claim. How many housing benefit claim has been process by the council since January 2012 to December 2013. Please provide number of each year.

12. How much council had spent to pay the employee who are working on homeless issues in council.Please give yearly details starting from January 2012 to December 2013.

13. How many people were successfully prosecuted for housing benefit fraud during year 2012 and 2013.

14.Did council appointed any third party to find out or tackle benefit fraud. If yes, Who is the company and how much council has paid them for the service.

Yours faithfully,

William Gomes

Beresford, Sue, Portsmouth City Council

1 Attachment

[1]logo_engCustomer, Community and Democratic Services                      

Civic Offices, Guildhall Square, Portsmouth, PO1 2AL

Telephone:    023 9268 8482

 

                                                                     

Reference: FOI20140055

 

Dear William Gomes,

 

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 - INFORMATION REQUEST

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

 

Thank you for your request for information received on 20/01/2014.

 

Your request is being considered and, subject to the points made below,
you will receive the information requested as promptly as possible within
the statutory timescale of 20 working days as defined by the Freedom of
Information Act 2000.

 

If we need to obtain more information from you in order to understand what
information you require, we will contact you. If this is the case, the 20
day time limit will not commence until your request has been clarified.

The Act defines a number of exemptions that may prevent release of certain
information.  The City Council will consider whether any of these
exemptions apply and, where required by the Act, whether it is in the
public interest to release the information.  If we have to make a public
interest test, the 20 day time limit might be extended. We will inform you
if the time scale has to be extended and if any information is withheld
and of your rights of appeal.

 

The City Council would like to make you aware that disclosure of
information obtained through FOIA is a disclosure into the public domain.

 

The City Council’s standard approach is to provide the information in the
form in which we hold it.  If you require alternative formats, e.g. audio,
large print, etc. or a different language, please let me know and we will
provide it if reasonably practicable to do so. If your request is a
question and we do not hold the answer in recorded form we will try and
provide an answer where we are able unless it requires the creation of new
information.

There may be a fee payable for this information request and we will send
you a Fees Notice if this is the case. Any fee must be paid before the
request is provided.  The time between the issue of the Fees Notice and
receipt of payment is excluded from the calculation of the 20 working day
time limit.

 

Any personal information you provide in relation to this request will only
be used for the purposes of processing your request for information.

 

If you have any queries or concerns then please contact the Corporate
Information Governance Officer at Portsmouth City Council, Civic Offices,
Guildhall Square, Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO1 2AL, telephone 023 9268 8482,
e-mail [email address].

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

 

 

Helen Magri/Peter Harding

Corporate Information Governance Officers.

                                                                                                   

 

 

Shaping the future of Portsmouth: we're planning to enhance our amazing
seafront, so people can enjoy it even more. Visit
http://www.portsmouth.gov.uk/living/1734... to find out more.

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FoI (ITS), Portsmouth City Council

 

[1]FOI image

Customer, Community and Democratic Services
Civic Offices, Guildhall Square, Portsmouth, PO1 2AL
Telephone: 023 9268 8482
Fax: 023 9284 1327

Reference: FOI/2014/55

Dear Mr William Gomes,

Further to our acknowledgement of your request, we need some clarification
from you so that we can provide you with an appropriate response.

Our Revenue and Benefit Service has asked the following ;

Please can we get some Clarification... We are being asked for processing
speeds and number of claims processed for Jan 12 to Dec 12, and Jan 13 to
Dec 13. Is this relating to new claims, changes or circumstance or both?
Thank you.

If you wish to telephone the office (on the number above) to talk through
this clarification, I would be more than happy to discuss the matter with
you.

The normal time limit for responding to a request for information, under
the Freedom of Information Act is 20 working days from the day after it is
received. However, where an authority reasonably requires further
information or clarification before it is able to respond to a request,
section 10(6)(b) of the FOIA specifies that the 20-day period for
compliance with the request begins when the authority receives the
information it requires to identify and locate the information requested.

The City Council would like to make you aware that if we do not receive
clarification within 30 days your request for information will be closed.

The Act defines a number of exemptions that may prevent release of some or
all of the information that you have requested. The City Council will
consider whether any of these exemptions apply and, where required by the
Act, whether it is in the public interest to release the information. If
we have to make a public interest test, the 20 working day time limit
might be extended. You will be informed if any information is withheld and
of your rights of appeal.

There may be a fee payable for this information and you will be informed
if this is the case. Any fee must be paid before the request is processed
and the information released. The 20 working day time clock will stop
until the fee is paid.

If you have any queries or concerns then please contact the Corporate
Information Governance Officer at Portsmouth City Council, Civic Offices,
Guildhall Square, Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO1 2AL, telephone 023 9268 8482,
e-mail [2][email address].

Yours sincerely

Peter Harding/Helen Magri
Corporate Information Governance Officers.

Shaping the future of Portsmouth: we're planning to enhance our amazing
seafront, so people can enjoy it even more. Visit
http://www.portsmouth.gov.uk/living/1734... to find out more.

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2. mailto:[email address]

Dear FoI (ITS),

The time period is Jan 12 to Dec 12, and Jan 13 to
Dec 13. Its relating to new claims, changes or circumstance or both.
Yours sincerely,

William Gomes

FoI (ITS), Portsmouth City Council

1 Attachment

 
 
FOI Customer, Community and Democratic Services                       
Civic Offices, Guildhall Square, Portsmouth, PO1 2AL
Telephone:      023 9268 8482
 
 
Our Ref: FOI20142055
 
 
Dear William Gomes
                               
INFORMATION REQUEST – Housing and Homelessness
 
Thank you for your request for information received on 18 January 2014,
which was considered under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. 
 
In accordance with the Act, Portsmouth City Council confirms it holds the
information.
 
 
Your request
 

 1. How many people are under the council's Housing waiting list at
present?

There are currently 1516 people on the waiting list at present, in terms
of gender:
Male                    631
Female          885
In age group, by numbers of cases:
18 - 24                 115
25 - 44                 788
45 - 59                 292
65 - 74                 126
75 and above            121
In ethnic group:
White British           958
White other             223
BME/ minority ethnic    258
Not given/ not known    77
 
 
2               Would you please specify how many people have applied for
one bedroom, two bedroom, three bedroom, three bedroom, four bedroom, five
bedroom in the year Jan 2012 - Dec 2013 (this relates to   new claims,
changes of circumstances or both)
                The answer relates to applications live, rehoused or
cancelled from 1 Jan 2012 to 31 Dec 2013 and number of required bedrooms:
               
                Bedroom size                    Number of cases
                Bedsit/ one bed                 1115
                Two bed                         836
                Three bed                       334
                Four bed                                70
                Five bed                                3
                Total                           2358
 
 

 3. Please provide how many people you have accommodated following the
statutory duty under the Housing Act who have declared themselves
homeless been classified as homeless.

During the period from 1 Jan 2012 - 31 Dec 2013 we have placed 1543
homeless cases into temporary accommodation.
 
4       Please provide the number of people who are currently on the
housing waiting list who are homeless.
        As of 21 February 2014 there are 39 households waiting to be
rehoused who are homeless as defined in the Housing Act 1996 (as amended
by the Homelessness Act 2002) as being eligible, homeless, in priority
need, unintentional and having a local connection.  There are also 80
applicants who are classified as 'sofa surfers', but under the allocations
policy would only be in a low band on the waiting list.
 
 
5       Please share what is the present council policy to address
homelessness.  And how the council is allocating budget for that.   
        The Allocation scheme extract (see answer to question 8) briefly
sets out Portsmouth City Council's approach to tackling homelessness.  The
Government no longer requires local authorities to produce a homelessness
strategy, and the council's statutory duties are laid out in the
allocations scheme.
 
 
6       Please share the total number of council houses and specify the
type of house and number and area and how many are currently empty.
        As at December 2013 Portsmouth City Council housing stock
consisted of:

* 284 Bedsits
* 220 Bungalows
* 8332 flats
* 4349 houses
* 9 houses in multiple occupation
* 1961 maisonettes

Total = 15155 properties, of which approximately 5000 are in the Leigh
Park/ Wecock Farm area, the rest being on Portsea Island.
There are currently 218 void properties.  This number includes properties
which are being refurbished, as well as some that are due to be
demolished.
 
 
7       Please provide how much council has spent yearly since January
2012 to December 2013, to build new council house/ flat
The amount spent in the 2 year period (Jan-12 to Dec-13) is £5,351,883.14
Jan-12 to Mar-12             £968,361.16
Apr-12 to Mar-13             £1,043,313.47
Apr-13 to Dec-13             £3,340,208.51
 
 
8       According to the Housing Act 1996 (as amended by the Homelessness
Act 2002), all Local Authorities must have a Homelessness Strategy in
place.  What is the homelessness strategy of the council?
        Link to Portsmouth City Council's Allocations Scheme -
[1]http://intralink/Media/Portsmouth_Alloca...
.  This is an extract from the section that deals with homelessness lays
out how Housing and Property Services will deal with homelessness:
 
8.      Applications from people who are homeless:
8.1.     The Homeless Act 2002 provides the statutory guidelines for
assessing whether a housing authority has a duty to house a homeless
person(s)
8.2.     The authority’s approach is to try and prevent homelessness
wherever possible.
8.3.     Where a duty is owed this authority will discharge its duty by
either:
8.3.1.   an offer of a private sector tenancy
8.3.2.   an offer of a tenancy via the allocation scheme
8.3.3.  or an offer of temporary accommodation until a settled home is
available
8.4.     There will be no choice as to tenure type offered; it will be
purely subject to availability, suitability and affordability.
8.5.     Preference for specific areas will be taken into consideration,
where possible, but cannot be guaranteed. (see 10, Choice & Preference)
8.6.     Homeless people whom the housing authority has no statutory
duties to house are provided for within the banding scheme.
8.7.     Rough sleepers within the city are supported to access emergency
hostel bed spaces, where their needs are assessed and support is available
to assist in finding an alternative lifestyle
 
 
10      Under Part VII of the Housing Act 1996 (as amended by the
Homelessness Act 2002) the council has certain responsibilities towards
people who are homeless or threatened with homelessness.  Would you please
provide the number, age, gender, to whom you provided service following
the specific law.
                The website for the Department for Communities and Local
Government (part of [2]www.gov.uk ) contains statistics gathered from all
local authorities concerning homelessness and other areas of social
housing.  The link to the particular part of the site is
[3]https://www.gov.uk/government/collection... .
 
 
11       How long you take to process housing benefit claim. How many
housing benefit claim has been process by the council since January 2012
to December 2013. Please provide number of each year.
 

* Jan 12 to Dec 12 Claims processed (New Claims & Changes of
Circumstance):81,291
* Average processing speed (New Claims & Change of Circumstance): 10.15
days Jan 13 to Dec 13
* Claims processed (New Claims & Changes of Circumstance):79,175
* Average processing speed (New Claims & Change of Circumstance): 10.99
days

 
 
12       How much council had spent to pay the employee who are working on
homeless issues in council. Please give yearly details starting from
January 2012 to December 2013.
There is no one person who's role is to deal with homelessness - all
Housing Options Officers spend a percentage of their time working with
homeless people. Therefore, the information you have requested within this
question is not recorded.
 
 
13       How many people were successfully prosecuted for housing benefit
fraud during year 2012 and 2013.
36 cases prosecuted for HB fraud 2012-2013
 
 
14      Did council appointed any third party to find out or tackle
benefit fraud. If yes, Who is the company and how much council has paid
them for the service.
                No
 
 
Under the Re- Use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2005 (SI
2005/1515) the supplied information may not be re-used without obtaining
the permission of Portsmouth City Council.
Portsmouth City Council in complying with their statutory duty under
sections 1 and 11 of the Freedom of Information Act to release the
enclosed information, will not breach the Copyright, Designs and Patents
Act 1988. However, the rights of the copyright holder of the enclosed
information will continue to be protected by the law.  If you wish to use
this information, you may require approval or licence from the copyright
holder.
You have the right to appeal against this decision or to complain about
our treatment of your request.  If you wish to do so, please set out in
writing your grounds of complaint and send to the Corporate Information
Governance Officer at Portsmouth City Council, Civic Offices, Guildhall
Square, Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO1 2AL, telephone 023 9268 8482, e-mail
[4][email address].
 
Should you be dissatisfied with the outcome of the complaints decision you
may wish to follow the Portsmouth City Council’s Compliments and
Complaints procedure which can be found on the Portsmouth City Council
website or by contacting the Civic Offices.
 
Once these processes have been exhausted you have a further right of
appeal to the Information Commissioner at:
 
Further information is also available from the Information Commissioner
at:
Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Telephone: 0303 123 1113
[5]www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk
 
Yours sincerely
 
 
 
Helen Magri/Peter Harding
Corporate Information Governance Officers
 
 
 
 
 
 

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