Exeter City Council has formally launched a digital service for people at risk of becoming homeless.
It has come from the council’s Digital Housing Programme, run with support from the Local Government Association, and is aimed at giving people quicker access to council officials when in need of help.
The service is operating through Exeter’s website and includes an online self-referral form, a portal to contact a caseworker and upload documents securely, and a form for professionals to refer clients. The latter is available to council staff and those from agencies with a role in helping people to avoid homelessness.
It has been designed to reduce the number of ‘walk-ins’ to council housing services and to speed up the response. The council has pledged to respond within one working day to any approaches through the service.
Councillor Emma Morse (pictured), lead councillor for supporting people at Exeter, said: “We want to make it incredibly easy to contact us – that’s what this initiative is all about. Vulnerable people can avoid wasting time coming in to the Civic Centre only to be told to come back at another time.
“By starting the process online straightaway, at any time, people can be sure that our housing team can start the process of attempting to resolve the issues straightaway.”
The council said that people at risk should use the digital service, but that those with an immediate emergency should visit its Civic Centre.
Image from Exeter City Council