Maidstone Borough Council (MBC) has received national recognition winning the prestigious Local Government Chronicle Awards 2021 Housing Category.
MBC submitted its bid for the award based on the homelessness prevention initiative ‘OneView’ pioneered by the Council’s Housing Team bringing together data from internal and external organisations to identify people in Maidstone who may be at risk.
The Council set homelessness prevention as its top strategic priority in 2019 following a 58% increase in just five years. MBC looked at a proactive new approach to tackling homelessness by designing and implementing OneView – an innovative data and analytics tool and is the first local authority to successfully introduce the new way of supporting those most in need in its community.
More than 1,100 local authority professionals gathered last night at Grosvenor House, London to celebrate the very best in local government.
The Awards saw entries from council teams across the UK judged by other councils’ senior officers, with the aim being to promote new innovation that can inspire other councils to improve their own services.
The LGC judges acknowledged the work of the innovative project created by the MBC Housing Team working with partners EY and Xantura, and recognised what OneView had achieved including preventing over 100 households from becoming homeless and reducing the risk of homelessness by 40%. Despite the heightened risk of the Covid pandemic the initiative also reduced the administrative burden on frontline Council officers, enabling them to spend more time working directly with at risk individuals.
Chair of Communities, Housing and Environment and Deputy Leader of Maidstone Borough Council, Jonathan Purle said: “Homelessness prevention is a key priority for the Council and this scheme had cross party support to deliver the service and help achieve this success.
“This is a great achievement by the Housing Team and demonstrates brilliantly partnership working at its best. I am pleased at what OneView has delivered which demonstrates innovative practice with MBC leading the way as the first local authority to successfully deliver the scheme that embraces such a forward thinking approach.”
The MBC OneView project brought together stakeholders from across the Council and key external partners who collaborated together to share data securely to enhance the data quality and provide a more in-depth picture of the households. Data Protection teams were also instrumental in ensuring data was transferred securely, with successful data protection workshops.
A OneView champion was recruited to deliver the early intervention and support to households identified at risk of becoming homeless or threatened with homelessness, and all Housing Advice Officers were upskilled to provide the support to those most in need.
Head of Housing & Community Services John Littlemore: “I am absolutely delighted that the MBC Housing Team has received national recognition by the LGC Awards. This is fantastic news and an incredible achievement for the whole service and acknowledges the work the MBC Housing team has done to develop innovative ways of helping those in most need within our community.
“Coming out of what has been difficult period for so many people I am exceptionally proud of all the hard work, dedication and application everyone involved has made to making a positive difference for people who may require help and support.”
Find out more about the MBC Housing Services please by visiting the website:
The LGC Awards are the biggest and best ceremony recognising the achievements of officers and politicians in local government. Last night’s ceremony was the 25th time the Local Government Chronicle event has been held.