This morning I reviewed the impact made by BHT’s Advice Centre in Brighton. Here are some basic statistics. I would ask you to reflect on the difference we make to the City and the consequences should this service close:
- 35% clients belong to a BME group
- 42% clients have either a disability, addiction or suffers from mental or physical ill health
- 55% of housing clients are in “priority need” and so the possible responsibility of the City Council.
Positive Outcomes (expressed as a percent) of Cases Closed during 2011/12
- Housing Advice 88% (This includes homeless prevention, conditions improved, accommodation found, better able to manage affairs)
- Housing court duty 85% (This includes homelessness prevented through stopping a possession order or execution of bailiff’s warrant)
- Accommodation Advice and Assistance 60% (This includes Homelessness prevention, PRS Accommodation found or sustained. These statistics are based on tracking 317 clients over 12 months).
- Welfare Benefits 95% (This includes clients who received increased or backdated benefit, and who are now better abled to manage their affairs)
- Debt 87% (This includes debts negotiated to an affordable plan, client better able to manage debt, debt reduced/written off etc.)
- Immigration 78% (This includes being granted Leave to Remain, refugee status, citizenship, family reunion etc. and includes 63% of appeals won)
Our legal services directly contributes to City strategies on:
- Prevention of homelessness and rough sleeping by reducing the numbers in temporary accommodation. In 2011/12 homelessness was prevented or accommodation found in 1,531 of cases above. A 70% homelessness prevention rate.
- Reducing Inequality through helping to lift clients out of poverty (often suffering multiple problems, for example mental health, addictions, offenders, street homelessness, anti-social behaviour, poverty)
- Community cohesion through immigration advice helping families achieve stability and live together