Anyone who uses or has used one of Birmingham’s housing advice centres is invited to have their say on the future homeless and housing advice service. Cabinet member for Neighbourhood Management & Homes, Cllr John Cotton, said: “We currently have four housing advice centres across the city, however some people have experienced delays in receiving the support that they need and we want to make sure that everyone receives a consistent service.

“We are now consulting on proposals to pull all our staff resources together to create a centre of excellence for homelessness and housing advice.  This will increase available appointments and ensure a consistent and specialist approach to households threatened with homelessness.  Staff will also be able to provide advice and assistance on welfare benefits and debt.

“We have already had success with the Youth Hub, which is a specialist homeless service for single young people under 25 years old, so it makes a great deal of sense to use this Hub as model of good practice and provide a similar central service for over 25s.  We are now asking for people to take part in a public consultation about this proposal.”

The public consultation will run for seven weeks (due to public holidays) from 4 December and will end on 21 January 2016.  Anyone wanting to take part can complete a questionnaire online at Birmingham Be Heard during the seven week period.  A paper questionnaire will also be given to service users of Neighbourhood Offices and the Homeless Service from 7 – 18 December.  The results will be used to inform the future service.