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Tackling hoarding in council housing 20/01/2022 Labelled as Development, Tenants

ARCH has been contacted by HoardingUK, a charity dedicated to supporting people affected by hoarding behaviours, who are looking to work with local authority landlords to help tackle and support tenants and residents with hoarding behaviours who may present a risk to themselves and others.


HoardingUK is a UK-wide charity dedicated to supporting people affected by hoarding behaviours which aims to empower individuals experiencing hoarding behaviours to achieve personal change to improve their health and wellbeing, to improve practice amongst professionals and to raise awareness and increase understanding of hoarding behaviours.


The problems of hoarding are increasingly being highlighted by landlords' concerns for fire safety and the risk to residents with serious hoarding behaviours and their neighbours and Hoarding UK are looking to support tenants and residents with hoarding behaviours but also help them work with housing and adult social care for a good result for everyone.


HoardingUK are currently looking to createActivist & Support Groupswithin Central London to do the following: -


- Set up In Person Support Groups.   Hoarding UK are aiming to create 20 support groups in and around Central London in the next 2 years. These will be held monthly and open to people who hoard. If they want to bring their family or carers for support, they are welcome. These support groups are person centred and non-judgemental, creating a safe space where people who hoard can meet people in the same position as them, express their feelings and, if they want and feel ready for it, receive practical support about how to make their space safer, curb acquisition and, ultimately, positively discard their possessions.


- Train a Peer Mentor/Activist.  HoardingUK will train a Peer Mentor for each of the support groups to co-facilitate and eventually lead the group. This person will either have first-hand experience with hoarding behaviours or have a close relationship with a person who hoards. This person will be fully trained up by HoardingUK and will gain skills in self-care/management, self-confidence/esteem, facilitation skills, running/organising a group, chairing meetings and project management.


- Become the Voice for Hoarding Within the Local Community. HoardingUK will publicise the support group within the local community and be the go-to place for: -


  • People who hoard and their support network
  • Adult Social Care to provide guidance on how to support people who hoard under the Care Act 2014 to understand they have a duty to support people with hoarding behaviour under the Care Act (maintaining a habitable and safe home).
  • Social Housing Landlords who become aware of a problematic hoarder within their tenancies, encouraging landlords to approach HoardingUK for support to help the individual in a holistic and person-centred manner. HoardingUK say that even when social housing landlords try to take on a supportive role it is rarely successful because the person will likely see their landlord in an enforcing role, not a supporting role which can lead them to feel under attack, threatened, overwhelmed and ultimately they disengage.
  • The Fire Service who often have a trigger point if a hoard gets to a certain level


- Develop a "Survival Kit"including a self-help pamphlet, available online, providing practical information and advice on how to cope.


What could this mean for local authority landlords?


A lot of tenants and residents with hoarding behaviour suffer from other physical and mental conditions which leads to situations where they rely on social housing and HoardingUK have funding to set up support groups in the London area and hope to roll this out around the country.


Any ARCH member councils interested in working with HoardingUK to tackle problems of hoarding within their area are invited to contact ARCH Chief Executive John Bibby and we will put you in touch with HoardingUK. 

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