Strategic Plan 2020 - 2023
A housing emergency
How will we achieve change?
How we will do this
What this will achieve
Nomad exists to:
Improve access to decent, affordable housing,
Help people transition out of homelessness quickly and positively, and
Support people to develop the skills and resilience to help them avoid homelessness in the future.
We work with over 100 people at risk of homelessness each year. Every year we receive hundreds of referrals for young, single homeless people seeking housing, and we have seen a huge increase in referrals since the introduction of the Homelessness Reduction Act in April 2018. In addition to referrals from Sheffield City Council, we have also started to receive enquiries from other nearby local authority areas who are looking for housing options for homeless applicants in their area.
A housing emergency
This is a housing emergency
There is not enough housing for everyone, and many people cannot afford somewhere decent to live.
Social housing is scarce, and it is in high demand. Waiting lists are many years long. The private rented sector is often the only viable option for most people, but for people on low incomes and benefits, getting a tenancy in the private rented sector is easier said than done.
Landlords ask for big deposits, rent in advance, and credit checks. Universal Credit is making landlords worry about rent arrears and so they’re leaving the market.
Homelessness is increasing.
Households are stuck in temporary accommodation, unable to find somewhere decent and affordable to live. Some single people are not entitled to any housing from the council at all, and as they can’t access the private rented sector, many have nowhere they can go.
We need to fix this problem.
We need to encourage and support landlords to rent to people who are otherwise unable to access the private rented sector. We also need to remember that landlords have their own bills to pay. They need assurances that their rent will be paid.
This is where Nomad can help.
Nomad has been working with homeless people and private landlords for 30 years. We have the knowledge, skills, and experience to make the private rented sector work for people at risk of homelessness. We believe every person has potential, and homelessness shouldn’t define them. We believe in helping people who have experienced homelessness to move on with their lives, quickly and with dignity.
Over the next three years, we plan to improve access to the private rented sector for single people at risk of homelessness and to help people build the skills and resilience needed to sustain these tenancies. We will support people to move into house-shares in the private rented sector where they can live for as long as they want, and we’ll provide coaching for people who want to achieve their goals and dreams.
We believe that strengths-based support can help people to transition out of homelessness, develop support networks, increase their resilience, and move forward with dignity. We have been working in a strengths-based way for over five years now, and we will continue to use this approach. We will also continue providing supportive house shares in the training flats while people gather the skills and the strength they need to move on.
Through the training flats, people can take the time they need to figure out their next steps, and we’re there to support them with whatever they need to get back on their feet. We’ve been running the training flats model since 2014, and so far, we’ve worked with over 120 people. The training flats approach works. We rarely see people become homeless again, and over 80% of people move on successfully and are able get on with their lives.
How will we achieve change?
From April 2020 everything we do at Nomad will fall under the umbrella of Smart Steps. Everyone housed, whether by our private rented team or our training flats team, will be working with Smart Steps. Our coaches will work primarily with people housed by Smart Steps.
We are doing this because people deserve to have access to everything Nomad can offer. Rather than having a selection of projects with different criteria, anyone coming to Nomad can choose the aspects of Smart Steps that they feel would be most useful to them. We are doing this to make the service more holistic and accessible to everyone.
In early 2020 we will also be launching Four Trees Lettings, our new lettings agency. This will enable us to offer decent, affordable, and secure shared private sector housing to single people. Everyone housed in a Four Trees property will be able to access all the help, support, and coaching that Smart Steps offers.
How we developed our strategy
We’ve worked with single people experiencing homelessness for many years but we still haven’t solved the problem of homelessness. We’re always trying to learn how we can be better. We ask people what we can do better, what we should do more of, and what they need from us.
We learn from other organisations, we read academic research, and we commission our own independent research into how we were doing. In the last few years, we have used this information to radically transform the way we work.
When we started Smart Steps people told us that they valued smaller house-shares, where they were matched carefully with housemates who they click with. We’ve shaped our training flats model to reflect this feedback. All our training flats are small shared properties, usually only two or three people share together.
People have told us over and again that hostels and emergency housing can be overwhelming, sometimes frightening, and bad for their mental health. We believe that people should have choice and control over where, and with whom, they live. We ask everyone who comes to us where they want to live, and what help they want to get back on their feet, and we do our best to meet their
We changed the type of housing we offer, the way we support people to sustain their tenancies, and the way we coach people towards their dreams and goals. We threw away a lot of intrusive paperwork, we stopped asking intrusive questions, and we stopped assuming that we knew what people needed.
How we developed our strategy
1. Increase the supply of decent, affordable private sector housing for people at risk of homelessness by encouraging and supporting private landlords to let their properties in a challenging market
Over the next three years we expect to house over 200 people who are at risk of homelessness into shared housing.
In early 2020 we’ll be opening Four Trees Lettings, a letting agency with a social purpose. We’ll be working contractually with private sector landlords to improve the availability, standard, and affordability of private rented housing for people at risk of homelessness. We expect to house 80 people through Four Trees Lettings in the first 12 months of trading.
2. Champion the training flats model as a viable and effective alternative to more traditional supported housing, where people can thrive in smaller, supportive house-shares to prepare them for independence.
We don’t want to see people stuck in a cycle of hostels and supported housing projects. Over the next three years, we want to share our approach further afield, and let people know what we’re doing at Nomad and how well it is working in Sheffield.
We will work with researchers, charities, housing providers and local authorities to show them that the training flats is innovative and sustainable response to the needs of people at risk of homelessness.
3. Implement evidence-based approaches to coaching and support, to equip the people using our services with the skills and resilience they need to ensure that once they do secure accommodation, that they can sustain it.
We recognise that a person’s experiences shape who they are today. For this reason, we will continue to integrate evidence-based practice into our approach, particularly Trauma Informed Care and Psychologically Informed Environments.
We will offer coaching to anyone at risk of homelessness who wants help moving forward.
We will continue to work with the National Innovation Partnership, a network of organisations across the UK who are hoping to demonstrate that strengths-based approaches are a viable way of commissioning services for homeless people.
We will continue to integrate strengths-based approaches into the way we work across the organisation, including the language we use, the approaches we take, and the way we work with our colleagues.
How we will do this
We will provide strengths-based support people transitioning out of homelessness, and so increase their resilience.
We will support people to access education, training, employment, and volunteering opportunities that relate to their aspirations.
We will support people to sustain their tenancy and reduce repeat cycles of homelessness, using evidence-based approaches.
We will evaluate our activities and learning and use this information to show that our approach works.
What will this achieve?
Everything we do over the next three years will be a step towards achieving one or more of our outcomes. These are:
People will sustain their tenancy
People will not become homeless again
People will see an improvement in their confidence and resilience
People will have access to opportunities for work, education, training, and other meaningful activities
People will have better access to decent, affordable and secure private sector housing
Nomad will help reduce public expenditure