Hart’s Housing Service secures gold award for outstanding commitment

Hart District Council is the ninth local authority nationally to receive the prestigious Gold Standard Award for its Housing Services.

Housing Officers were officially presented with the Gold Standard Award at the annual National Practitioner Support Service (NPSS) Conference on Wednesday 5 July.

The “Gold Standard” is a local authority, sector led peer review scheme designed to help Councils to continuously improve homelessness prevention services. The process is administered by the government funded NPSS and involves 10 steps that are focussed on service development. The culmination of the process is an application for the Gold Standard Challenge.

Speaking about the award, Cllr Stuart Bailey, Cabinet Member for Housing at Hart District Council, said: “Achieving Gold Standard is a tremendous achievement and recognises Hart as one of the top Councils in the country in the way in which it delivers its Housing Service.”

Phil Turner, Hart’s Head of Housing, added “I’m so proud of the team rising to the challenge and working hard to get Hart recognised for delivering best practice services to our residents. We were awarded the first Bronze award back in December 2014 and since then we have enhanced our approach and worked hard along with our partners. We recently secured government funding to join a network of Homelessness Prevention Trailblazers and now we have achieved all 10 national challenges. This recognition is a testament to a lot of really hard work across the service and across our partnerships. My thanks to everyone involved in this success for supporting us throughout the process.”   

The scheme challenges local authorities to develop their frontline housing services and to demonstrate good practice, including sharing learning to support other local authorities to improve. From the outset, Hart has been keen to work with the scheme to help develop local services and ensure residents with housing related problems receive effective and efficient support from the Council.

Tracy Hendren from the NPSS said: "The National Practitioner Support Service is delighted that Hart District Council has achieved all 10 of the Local Challenges and is now classified as a Gold Standard authority. Each of Hart's applications for the 10 Local Challenges demonstrated their commitment to delivering housing services with a clear focus on early intervention and homelessness prevention. The team should be very proud of their achievements which will stand them in great stead to implement the Homelessness Reduction Act next year."

Hart District Council works with a range of statutory and voluntary sector agencies to meet the housing needs of local residents. Anyone who is worried about their housing situation can contact the Housing team by email at housing@hart.gov.uk or by telephone on 01252 774420. Hart also offers an online Housing Options Service that can be accessed here https://hart.ehodirect.org.uk/  

                                      

Image: Hart’s housing team collecting the award at the NPSS conference.
From left to right, Penny Saunders, Claire Boxall, Vicky Atkinson, Brian Bridger, Natasha Summers from Hart District Council. Jo Beck from the DCLG and Tracy Hendren, National Practitioner Support Service Lead from NPSS.

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