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Introducing our HRA implementation project website

Joe Kane-Smith, Best Practice Consultancy Manager

We have been working with five local authorities for over a year to help implement the Homelessness Reduction Act (HRA). We are launching a new project website as part of our commitment to work openly and support others.

About the project

Crisis secured funding for three years from the Oak Foundation to support and monitor the successful implementation of the HRA. This includes providing targeted support to five local authorities and research with six to assess the Act's implementation. This blog and our project website are primarily for the practice work (with the five) but will include updates from the research where relevant. For more information, our project brief is included within the resources section of the site.

The project is led by Crisis, in collaboration with:

  • Middlesbrough Council
  • London Borough of Lewisham
  • Sheffield City Council
  • Durham County Council
  • Oxford City Council

Our commitment to sharing

The project started in April 2018 and a key aim has been to work with other stakeholders and authorities to share the learning. We are committed to working openly and making this a project everyone can use by sharing outputs and anything else that might be useful. Ultimately, we want to see the spirit of the Homelessness Reduction Act enacted in practice across all 326 English local authorities.

We have taken inspiration from initiatives like Local Digital and other local authorities e.g. Hackney and Essex that recognise there are many common challenges across the sector and creating an open culture is the best way to collectively overcome them.

Using the project website

The website is a key method to share our plans and experience, identify collaboration opportunities and reuse good practice. The site has:

  • A regular blog (at least once a week) to describe the work we are doing, outline new practices, share ideas and invite opinions on our plans and developments
  • Resources we have developed for others to access e.g. project outputs and deliverables. A search engine and tags help with navigation
  • Show & tells live streamed each quarter to showcase our work
  • Ongoing and completed project activities, visualised with a simple kanban board
  • A social media feed for regular project updates

Our collaboration tools

To help us collaborate on shared content, we will use Google Docs from time to time. We may also use Microsoft Forms to get quick responses from site users on various issues. For coordinating work and communicating with the five local authorities, we’re using a dedicated Office 365 Group with a SharePoint for all project documentation. To manage our work day-to-day, we developed a kanban board with Microsoft Planner. We’re currently working out the best technology to use for our Show and Tell sessions (suggestions welcome). We will use a future blog to share the approach and methodology we are using in our work.

How to get in touch and stay up to date

We are always keen to collaborate, hear feedback or have a conversation so please contact Trish Connolly (Best Practice Development Manager) or Joe Smith (Local Authority Practice Manager) who are leading the project.

Please explore the site and let us know what you think. You can sign up for email updates when a new blog is posted using the form at the bottom of the site.

For media enquiries:

E: media@crisis.org.uk
T: 020 7426 3880

For general enquiries:

E: enquiries@crisis.org.uk
T: 0300 636 1967