What we do Housing Homeless prevention and tenancy support Affordable housing is just the beginning. Our homeless prevention and tenancy support team has one overarching goal: preventing people who have experienced homelessness - and are now housed, from becoming homeless again. It means supporting people to sustain their tenancies for as long as they need us. Stop homelessness recurring The shortage of affordable housing is one of the biggest challenges people stuck in emergency accommodation face when trying to exit homelessness. Private rented accommodation is in short supply. Private rents far exceed rent supplement / housing assistance payments. Competition to secure private rented housing is fierce. The public housing building programme has a long way to go to meet current needs (read more in our Homeless Watch). When someone stuck in emergency accommodation finds and secures housing they can afford, we aim to do everything possible to support them in sustaining their tenancy and prevent them from returning to homelessness. “I find it difficult to find accommodation. Most landlords have stopped taking rent allowance.” – ‘Alan’ Finding and securing affordable housing Our prevention and tenancy support team usually start working with people when they are stuck in emergency accommodation. A comprehensive needs assessment is completed with each person - including housing needs, and a care plan is agreed and implemented. Finding and securing housing that each person can afford and is appropriate to their needs, can often be the most challenging. Our research paper, Home Truths: Trying to Find a Home when you're Homeless, explores the impact of the housing crisis on attempts by people stuck in our emergency shelter to find housing they can afford to leave homelessness behind. We have our own limited stock of one and two-bedroom flats, but vacancies are rare. We work with other approved housing bodies in Cork with a view to securing appropriate housing for the people we support. We operate a Social Rentals programme where we lease properties directly from the private rental sector and sub-let them to people who are homeless at rates within the Rent Supplement / Housing Assistance Payment cap - and we commit to maintaining the property for the lifetime of the lease. We also support people in negotiating the assessment and application process for public housing. More often than not it takes time and patience, but the team is there for people every step of the way. "It’s good to have my own space and be able to cook own food, it’s very noisy but you get used to it. My addiction is manageable. Depression has improved due to socialising. I have depression on and off all my life. My keyworker sets goals like to keep my place tidy. Staff are good at connecting and engaging, they ask ‘How are you?’ Are you using much?’" - Dave, Cork Simon tenant. Tenancy support People with experience of homelessness who are now in their own home can continue to face many challenges in sustaining their tenancy, in some cases long after they have left homelessness behind. Some people have never lived independently and don't have the life skills most of us take for granted: cleaning, cooking, self-care, household budgeting, establishing social support networks, managing mental health, and so much more. Our tenancy support team works one-to-one with each tenant - calling and visiting as often as each person needs, for as long as they need. Supports are different for each person, but the overall goal is the same: preventing a return to homelessness. "I’m living here for ten months. The flat is small - my own bedroom, kitchen and bathroom. It’s quiet when compared to the shelter. My keyworker is great, her support is incredible; she never gave up on me. Drug Counsellor was a great help for dealing with bereavement and alcohol issues. He put me on the straight and narrow. Having a plan helps as I need to know what’s going to happen." - Patricia, Cork Simon Tenant.