Hull City Council has been successful in its bid to become one of five local councils in England participating in a review of the quality and value for money of non-commissioned supported housing.
Non-commissioned supported housing is market led accommodation for vulnerable people where the support and accommodation is overseen by a private landlord and funded through housing benefits. This is in contrast to commissioned supported housing which is directly purchased by the Council and monitored for quality against an agreed contract.
The Supported Housing Overview Pilot 2020/2021 has been initiated jointly by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) and the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP). The pilots will involve collaborative working between local partners and will carefully test different approaches to greater oversight of the sector and how higher standards could be enforced. The council has been awarded £798K for the six months-long review.
Hull’s contribution to the Supported Housing Overview Pilot will involve the council checking properties, including accommodation standards, support provision and the associated Housing Benefit claims. Arrangements for providing support, such as organising access for medical treatment, help with addictions or managing money, will be assessed as to whether it is the appropriate support and that it is being delivered.
Furthermore, the funding offers the scope to test a range of innovative ideas. For example, through Love Your Street and the Neighbourhood Nuisance Teams to provide targeted support and community engagement aiming to improve the street scene in neighbourhoods with supported accommodation.
The pilot in Hull coincides with the publication of the National Statement of Expectations (NSE) which has been developed in collaboration between the MHCLG and DWP with input from Hull’s Supported Accommodation Review Team, other local councils and the supported housing sector.
Welcoming the city’s inclusion in the Supported Housing Overview Pilot, Cllr John Black, the council’s portfolio holder for housing said, “We have a good track record in preventing homelessness, and the council’s work in improving supported housing conditions has made the difference for many people to help them move on and live more stable, independent lives. Selection for the government’s pilot programme recognises our work in this area.
“As well as contributing towards establishing a national standard for supported housing, the funding will enable us to improve our understanding of the supply and demand of short-term supported housing locally and further build our relationships with key partners.”