Cabinet approves supported housing consultation

Thursday, November 07, 2019

Lancashire County Council's cabinet has approved a consultation on supported housing at its meeting at County Hall, Preston today (Thursday 7 November).

Supported housing is a way of ensuring people with disabilities or health issues can live as independently as possible.

Currently, most people who live in supported housing share a house and communal facilities usually with 24 hour support from care workers which is provided whether they need it or not.

The council is considering the development of different models that offer more individual properties within apartment type schemes, with support appropriate to people's level of individual need to help people to live more independently. If there are one or more long-term vacancies in the schemes it can cause problems for other residents who may feel more isolated and could have to pay more for the service.

Vacancies also put a financial burden on the county council, who commission the services and housing providers, who could lose out on income.

By reducing properties that are no longer viable because of ongoing vacancies, the proposal will help to maximise the use of the current supported housing and new housing options. It will set out criteria that will be used to make decisions about whether the county council will continue to commission certain tenancies.

There will now be an eight-week consultation with people who use supported housing, staff from care providers, the public and other partners about the proposals. People will be able to share their views online via the county council's website.

Ian Crabtree, director of adult social care transformation, said: "There are currently 160 tenancies with one or more vacancy out of a total of 700 supported housing schemes in Lancashire.

"This is a major issue as vacancies place a financial strain on others who live in the tenancy, the county council and sometimes on the housing provider.

"Vacancies also affect other people who remain there as fewer people using a scheme means an increased risk of people becoming isolated.

"We currently work with our partners to do all we can to fill these vacancies as they arise. However, some properties have had vacancies for some time, often years with no realistic hope of them ever being filled.

"This proposal sets out a way of reviewing schemes to see if we can continue to use them or to no longer commission tenancies that cannot be fully used because there is an issue with under-occupancy.

"Our priority is to ensure people have the best support and options to stay safe and well but also maximise their independence.

"We will always ensure people's rights are fully protected and we would work closely with people to make sure we provide services that meet their needs.

"There will be an eight-week consultation on the proposal."

Dates for the new consultation will be published on the county council's website before it goes live.

For more information, see agenda item 11 at the cabinet agenda page and minutes page

Tagged as: Health and Social Care

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