The Norfolk Community Advice Network (NCAN) is a Big Lottery funded project set up to improve access to free, high quality social welfare advice, information, advocacy, and representation services for those living or working in Norfolk.

Our aim is to build a strong, effective and inclusive network of advice agencies in Norfolk and to support the advice sector in this region in contributing to strategic objectives locally and nationally in the areas of social inclusion, tackling poverty and other disadvantage.

Regional Updates

Stonham HomeStay Floating Support Service Closure Announced
After ten years of successful delivery of housing-related support to over 25,000 clients, the Stonham HomeStay floating support contract, delivered by Home Group, will close on 30th November 2017.  Due to continuing austerity measures, Norfolk County Council agreed recommendations to remove funding from all their existing floating support contracts at their full council meeting on 20th February 2017. Read full article
18 to 21 year olds risk losing housing cost element of UC
The Government has introduced regulations from April 1st 2017 - 18 to 21 year olds will no longer be entitled to the housing cost element of Universal Credit, unless they can prove they meet an exemption. This explicitly includes victims of domestic violence, care leavers and young parents. It also includes those for whom ‘in the opinion of the Secretary of State it is inappropriate to live with each of their parents.’ The Government will be producing an ‘Advice to decision makers’ document to clarify who this includes and how exemptions will be administered. Read full article

Training and Events

Leeway's Domestic Abuse Awareness Training
Leeway has over 40 years’ experience working in the field of domestic abuse in Norfolk and given the high level of domestic abuse happening across our communities, we know that domestic abuse training is an  important part of tackling  this often hidden crime.Feedback from recent training included:“Really interesting, well delivered, supportive and considered.  Very good and much appreciated.” Read full article
Save the date: engagement events with NCC and Norfolk CCGs
Community Action Norfolk are planning some events to explore how Clinical Commissioning Groups, Norfolk County Council and the Norfolk VCSE sector can work together for improved health of residents and how to reduce the barriers to working together. Dates for your diary are: 8th March for West Norfolk, 10th March for Central Norfolk and 13th March for East Norfolk. More details to follow. Read full article

National News Roundup

The impact of housing problems on mental health
Shelter has released a new report revealing that millions of people in England have suffered a deterioration in their mental health in the last five years because of housing problems, and as a result, many have sought help from their GPs. The report is based on interviews with GPs and a survey of 3,500 adults, about the mental health impact of housing problems.  Read full article
Universal Credit and Discretionary Housing Payments
The DWP has received a number of enquiries recently over the use of Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) to support claimants with housing costs on Universal Credit. HB Bulletin G12/2016 has been re-issued updating the guidance and Q&A.The reason for the revision is the Department does not see any legal reason why a Discretionary Housing Payment cannot be paid to Universal Credit claimants who have Managed Payments to their Landlord in place.  Read full article

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