Birmingham City Council launches new Housing Advice and Mediation services on World Homelessness Day
Birmingham City Council has launched a new Housing Advice and Mediation services ahead of World Homelessness Day on 10 October http://www.worldhomelessday.org/
The Housing Advice service is a step by step guide to dealing with housing issues including how to solve problems affecting a person’s housing situation, what to do if they have been asked to leave their property, how people can find somewhere else to live and how the council can help. People accessing the service don’t need to give any personal details about themselves or where they live.
The Housing Mediation Service is provided by Right Mediation who are a group of highly experienced and dedicated professionals with 25 years’ experience. Right Mediation will mediate between family members and landlord and tenant on behalf of the council but is entirely independent from it.
Commenting on the new Housing Advice service Councillor Hussain, Cabinet Member for Homes and Neighbourhoods, said ‘The Housing Advice service is excellent and is really easy to use. It’s very straightforward and with a few clicks will navigate you to the right advice. It is always important to know your rights and responsibilities as housing issues can arise at any time. Whether you are threatened with eviction from your landlord, or simply cannot afford to maintain your mortgage repayments – getting the right advice at the right time is vital.’
Councillor Hussain added ‘Birmingham Advice Aid provides 24 hour interactive guidance tailored to an individual’s circumstances. It helps people find the answers to their specific housing concerns and so will help prevent homelessness. This tool is not linked to any internal Council systems and will therefore not store any information once the user has exited the self-serve platform.’
Julie Griffin, Managing Director Housing for Birmingham City Council, said ‘The Advice Aid platform hosted on Birmingham City Councils website has been designed to be as user friendly as possible and to sign post people to the right advice quickly and easily by just answering a few simple questions. The service is available to everyone who is seeking assistance in accessing services from the Housing Solutions and Support Service. It is another important tool in helping tackle homelessness in Birmingham.’
Commenting on the Mediation Service Councillor Hussain said ‘Housing disputes can really impact upon people’s lives and in the worst-case scenarios can result in family breakdown, anti-social behaviour, legal proceedings and homelessness. This new housing mediation service will be tailored to an individual’s circumstances and will help affected people to resolve their issues. It uses professional mediators and will help find solutions to specific housing concerns and so help to prevent disputes escalating.’
Kim Price, the CEO of Right Mediation said ‘We are very proud to have won the contract to deliver Homeless Mediation for Birmingham City Council. The aim of the service is to work with young people, families, and landlords to help prevent homelessness. We hope with our highly experienced professionals they would help clients to reach a restorative agreement using the Right Mediation model. Built on the principles nonbiased, non-judgement, confidential delivering a service designed to empower clients to make their own decisions around their own issues. We always strive for the best quality service and at present are getting success rates between 90% - 95%. Where agreement is reached, 95% success rate of parties maintaining their agreements after 6 weeks monitoring period. We find this helps client to resolve their issues and form their own agreements reducing man hours of professional engagement’
Notes to editors
Birmingham Advice Aid provides comprehensive advice around a wide range of issues including homelessness legislation, tenant rights, benefits, harassment, S21 notices, mortgage arrears, domestic abuse, rights of occupation, welfare reform, illegal eviction, rent arrears, housing disrepair and much more. For more details of the Housing Advice service go to https://www.birmingham.gov.uk/advice-aid
Right Mediation services include Community Mediation, Homeless Mediation, Victim and Offender Mediation (Restorative Justice), Peer Mediation, Workplace Mediation, NHS Mediation, Special Educational Needs Mediation, Family Mediation and Family Group Conferencing
Right Mediation was established in 2013, by Kim Price (CEO). Kim has worked in many different fields of restorative social processes including Family Mediation, Special Education Needs Mediation and Family Group Conferencing for 30 years. Paul Lloyd (MD) has 10 years’ experience within the same social disciplines. The aim of the service is promoting restorative approach towards conflict management, including mediation. With the ambition to run a nation-wide service.
Right Mediation has the combined experience of practicing Restorative Approaches for over 100 years. Their staff are all qualified to a minimum of level 3 Open College Network in Mediation with senior practitioners of level 4 or above. Their contracts have included Wolverhampton, Dudley, Walsall, Telford & Wrekin, Tamworth, Stoke, Staffordshire & Sandwell.