Appendix A Summary Assessment Report by gabyion

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									                                     Appendix 3: Summary Assessment Report
            GRANTS TO VOLUNTARY ORGANSIATIONS 2003/2004
Summary Report
Catholic Housing Aid Society      Ward: Bryanston and Dorset Square

2001/2002 Revenue Funding:                    £6,800

2002/2003 Revenue Funding                     £5,000 (Housing)
2002/2003 Other WCC Grants:                   Nil

2003/2004 Funding Requested:                  £20,000

2003/2004 Funding Recommended:                £4,614
WCC funding as a % of the income of           2%
the Service:

Services Provided and Activities for which Funding is Requested

The Catholic Housing Aid Society (CHAS) is a registered charity and company
limited by guarantee that aims to prevent homelessness and improve housing
conditions for anyone in housing need in Central London. CHAS provides housing
and debt information and advice services and works with other local agencies to
identify mechanisms that will help prevent homelessness. CHAS also offers advice
and training to other local agencies, including community groups, to promote debt
awareness and alternatives to repossession and works to inform policy at a local and
national level.

The CHAS Housing and Debt Advice Service aims to prevent homelessness and
improve housing conditions to anyone in housing need living and working in
Westminster, and in areas adjacent to Westminster. It provides a direct access
housing and debt advice service comprising information, advice, advocacy support
and representation. The CHAS Housing and Debt Advice Service is being
developed into a separate independent charity to be known as Central London
CHAS. This new organisation will have its own constitution and management
committee and the intention is for it to be active by April 2003 and, after this date, to
move to separate premises in Westminster. The geographical target area for this
funding proposal is the City of Westminster and 75% of benefiting households are
intended to be those from Westminster. Funding is being requested to contribute to
the running costs of maintaining and developing the Housing and Debt Advice
Service.
Adherence to Criteria and Conditions
Funding Category: City Partnership – Customer First Programme
Priority Area: Information and Advice Services
Criteria

1. Provide accurate and effective advice based on individuals’ needs
The application demonstrates that CHAS offers a direct access advice service which
includes referral and outreach services to reach different communities and groups.
the application demonstrates that through their good working partnerships they help
individual access services. An example of this in the application illustrates how the
Bangladeshi community is reached through partnership work. The service is
seeking to extend work to meet the needs of more individuals through second tier
training with community groups. The application states that CHAS is known for its
effectiveness in preventing homelessness but does not offer any examples or detail
to illustrate this. No monitoring evidence is cited to indicate user profiles/outcomes.

2. Provide an accessible and inclusive service
The application shows that the service is accessible in different ways, for example,.
by telephone and through drop-in services. Partnership work is cited that enables
those who might not otherwise access mainstream service provision to access
CHAS. Information is available in different community languages. The application
states that CHAS is accessible to those on low incomes, to disabled people to and
other groups who might otherwise experience exclusion but does not cite monitoring
evidence and/or outcomes to illustrate these points or indicate current user profile.

3. Demonstrate a clear need or demand for the service
A growing demand for the service is evidenced, and a demand for outreach
surgeries and interest in training by community groups is stated. A Housing Needs
Survey is cited that demonstrates local need but this is not fully related on
application form to the services CHAS provides or wishes to provide.

4. Demonstrate how the service adds value to groups/communities served
The application demonstrates how current work and planned proposals for training
and outreach work with other agencies and groups add value. CHAS brings in
significant external funding to the benefit of Westminster residents.

5. Target communities identified in the Neighbourhood Renewal Strategy
The application states that CHAS reaches vulnerable neighbourhoods and
communities as defined by the NRS, however, examples and/or monitoring evidence
to illustrate this are not given in the application.

6. Promotes self-help and active citizenship
One of aims of the service is self-help and stated values relate to both rights and
responsibilities. There is an annual user consultation process. The application
refers to planned involvement for volunteers and for user representation on the
Management Committee but does not clarify if such involvement is current.


Ward Member Comments
Officer Assessment

The application demonstrated the majority of funding criteria reasonably well. CHAS
provides a Housing and Debt Advice Service that aims to be accessible to people in
housing need and is developing its work to reach diverse neighbourhoods and
communities. For these reasons this application was progressed to Stage 2 of the
assessment process to be considered for funding.

Funding of £4,614 is recommended to contribute to sustaining CHAS Housing and
Debt Advice Service subject to CHAS Central London achieving full independence
(in terms of constitution, management etc) in 2003/04. Funding is subject to outputs
and outcomes relating to the delivery of the service to Westminster residents being
agreed with the organisation.

Recommendation: £4,614

								
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