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The Role of Local Councils and Housing Associations in Preventing Homelessness


The Homelessness Reduction Act (HRA) came into force on 3 April 2018. Described by the Local Government Association (LGA) as the ‘most important piece of homelessness legislation…seen in a generation’, and seen as one of the most significant changes to homelessness legislation in 40 years. It shifts the focus towards preventing homelessness, allowing anyone who is homeless or at risk to access help, irrespective of their priority need status.

In addition, though the primary responsibility to tackle homelessness is with local housing authorities, the HRA recognises they cannot do this alone. A new duty to refer, came into force on 1 October 2018. This requires public bodies to refer anyone to a council if they believe they are homeless or at risk. Although, housing associations are not bound by the duty, many are eager to support councils to implement the HRA.

The Act also gives new impetus to strengthening collaborations and partnerships, encouraging collective and coherent action to seek new solutions in tackling and preventing homelessness.

As the country’s housing and homelessness problems continue, this timely Cephas Public Policy symposium provides an invaluable opportunity for key staff who work at all levels across local housing authorities, housing associations, charities and the rest of the housing sector to discuss the latest in government thinking on ending homelessness. While the Act alone can’t solve homelessness, delegates will consider further key structural changes needed, and assess best practice collaboration between councils and their partners from across the country, so we can address one of the greatest challenges of our times.

Order of the Day

09:15 Registration and Morning Refreshments

10:15 Chairs Introduction

10:30 Morning Presentations

The morning and afternoon speaker presentations will cover a range of areas, which may be explored further during Q & A. Delegates will also be encouraged to raise discussion topics during the open floor discussion in the morning and afternoon. These include any issues not covered by the below bullet points.

Examining the current system and the changes needed to end homelessness

  • Review the key measures of the Homelessness Reduction Act (HRA) and its impact in preventing and tackling homelessness 
  • Consider the key structural changes we need to end homelessness and how this can be achieved
  • Is it time to reform the Right to Buy (RTB) programme? 
  • Does our welfare system enable the people most in need to access stable homes?

11:30 Morning Coffee Break

11:45 Open Floor Deliberation and Debate

12:45 Networking Lunch

13:30 Afternoon Presentations

Sharing ideas and learning from best practices across the country

  • East of England - housing associations and councils collaborating to provide practical, economical solutions
  • South East – understanding work taken as part of The Homelessness Reduction Act Trailblazer programme
  • South West - review evidence to what works in homelessness prevention activities
  • London – preventing rough sleeping by building on No First Night Out principles
  • North West – reforming allocations and lettings policy as part of a strategy to prevent homelessness

14:30 Afternoon Coffee Break

14:45 Open Floor Deliberation and Debate

15:45 Chair’s Closing Remarks and Networking Reception

16:30 Close

Who Should Attend?

Please note the below list is not exclusive, therefore do not be discouraged from attending this event if your organisation or job title is not listed below.

  • Local Housing Authorities
  • Housing Associations
  • Local Authority Housing Officers and Managers
  • Homelessness Assessment and Prevention Officers
  • Housing Strategy Officers
  • Social Landlords
  • ALMOs
  • Charities
  • Representative Groups
  • Housing Supply Officers
  • Supported Housing Teams
  • Private Housing Teams
  • Tenant Management Organisations
  • Resident Groups
  • Tenants and Residents' Associations
  • Tenancy Relations Officers
  • Private Sector Housing Divisions
  • Heads of Spatial Planning
  • Letting Agents
  • Housing Benefit Teams
  • Sheltered Housing Scheme Managers
  • Local planning authorities
  • Parish Councils
  • Community Groups
  • Campaigning Organisations
  • Voluntary Organisations
  • Consultants
  • The Legal Profession
  • Welfare Rights Organisations
  • Neighbourhood Renewal Teams
  • Urban Renewal Teams
  • Regional Development Agencies
  • Developers
  • Surveyors
  • Elected Members
  • Advice and Support Groups
  • Councillors

Event Properties

Event Date 24-03-2020 9:30 am
Event End Date 24-03-2020 4:30 pm
Central Government Departments and Executive Agencies, NDPBs Register Now
Local Authority, Public Education Bodies, Police, Fire Services and NHS Bodies, National Charity, Regional Charity Register Now
Local Charity and Voluntary Organisations, Community Organisations Register Now
Avonmouth House, London
6 Avonmouth Street
Avonmouth House, London

Pricing Guide

Private Sector, Central Government Departments and Executive Agencies, NDPBs Local Authority, Public Education Bodies, Police, Fire Services and NHS Bodies, National Charity, Regional Charity Local Charity and Voluntary Organisations, Community Organisations


1 Place £375

2+ Places £325 each


1 Place £295

2+ Places £255 each


1 Place £185

2+ Places £165 each

Speakers Include:

Hannah Gousy, Head of Policy and Campaigns, Crisis
David Bogle, Chief Executive, Hightown Housing Association
Imogen Farhan, Researcher, REFORM
Cllr Rachel Eden, Former Cabinet member for Housing and Neighbourhoods on Reading Borough Council and current member of the LGA’s Children’s and Young People’s Board
Suzannah Young, Policy Officer, National Housing Federation
Caroline Bernard, Head of policy and communications, homeless link
Olly Alcock, Head of Bristol's Trailblazer Services, Bristol City Council
Justine Harris, Head of Tenancy Services, Brighton & Hove City Council
Bob Proctor, Housing Options Manager – Trailblazer Project, Brighton & Hove City Council


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Company Information

Registered in England under Company Number 10496875

Registered Office: Comer business & innovation centre
Building 3
North London business park
Oakleigh Rd South N11 1GN

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Contact Information

Contact number: 020 3763 9604


CEPHAS Public Policy Communications Ltd
Comer business & innovation centre
Building 3
North London business park
Oakleigh Rd South N11 1GN