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Decision details

Procurement of Supported Accommodation for Adults at the Risk of Offending

Decision Maker: Director of Commissioning, Inclusion and Learning

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


This report seeks permission to tender a support service for people who have an offending history and risky behaviours.


The service will provide around 110 units of supported accommodation with a short period of move on support into independent tenancies. Support would be provided for individual service users for 6 to 12 months, depending on need. During this time they will be provided with a holistic support package to support their recovery and develop the skills and resilience to move on to a sustainable lifestyle in permanent accommodation.


The service will ensure that the needs of women are catered for, and couples where one or both members meets its eligibility criteria.


The annual expenditure on this contract will be up to £445,000 per year initially. This anticipates a reduction of around £35,000 from its current contract price.


In addition there will be a 1% annual reduction built into the contract from May 2020. The service will be commissioned as detailed in the report and in line with the delegations agreed by Cabinet in the Delegated Decisions for Housing Related Support Commissioning Strategy and Budget Plan 2016-2020.


As delegated through the 17 February 2016 Cabinet decision ‘Delegated Decisions for Housing Related Support Commissioning Strategy and Budget Plan 2016 to 2020’ the Director of Commissioning, Inclusion and Learning:-


(i) approves a re-procurement process to recommission a supported accommodation service for people with a history of offending, in line with the detail set out in the report; and


(ii) will award, following a procurement process, a contract to the bidder offering the best value response, for a contract period of 5 years with break clauses for flexibility.  

Reasons for the decision:

There is a continued need for supported accommodation in the City to meet strategic and legal responsibilities for the client group described. Demand for the service outstrips supply. The current contract ends in November 2018 and therefore a decision is required to enable the service to be recommissioned. A gap in service would have a detrimental impact on homelessness amongst offenders and adults with multiple needs. The supported accommodation service will provide people with support needs stable accommodation while they develop their skills to live independently and move on to their own tenancy. The support will address underlying issues and reduce homelessness including rough sleeping.


The existing service is a tried and tested model of provision that is valued in the City by all stakeholders and is well established within a number of pathways. The new service has been enhanced to include more needed provision for women and for people with multiple needs.

Alternative options considered:

Three alternative options have been considered alongside the recommended option to recommission the services. These are set out below.


Option 1  - Do not continue to commission this service


There is a need for this service. The service is an important component of the Council’s supported accommodation service. It is a dispersed service which is a much needed alternative to larger hostel accommodation which is not suitable for all service users. It provides a different ‘offer’ for service users, and has positive outcomes, particularly for people with multiple needs. Demand outstrips supply for the service.


When funding was aggregated to create the Supporting People Programme a large amount of funding from Probation Hostel Grant was included to ensure that people leaving prison with housing support needs were not homeless and at risk of reoffending. All stakeholders interviewed in April 2018 attested to the value of this service. Without the service we could see an increase in rough sleeping and more pressure on Housing Solutions, on the criminal justice system and related services.


Option 2 – Commission Less


The dispersed accommodation service has a high utilisation rate. Demand outstrips supply and reducing the service would have an adverse impact on homelessness and recovery. Service users benefit from stable accommodation to aid their transition to independent living and learning how to sustain a tenancy while being supported to reduce the risks that they pose to themselves and others. Ideally the service needs to be increased rather than decreased.


Option 3 – Run the Service in House


The offender service providers have a long history of working with probation and a range of landlords to provide support for offenders, many with complex needs. There is a healthy voluntary sector market with expertise and a good track record of providing positive outcomes in supported housing. The voluntary sector is able to bring in additional charitable funding to support the client group. There is no obvious home or expertise for this bespoke service in-house and if we delay the progress of the retender the contract will run out. The accommodation for this service is scattered throughout the City and belongs to a variety of landlords, including the Council. During the consultation period, the Council Housing Service have said that due to demand for Council Housing for general needs they are not able to continue to provide any Council properties for this type of service.       

Publication date: 09/01/2019

Date of decision: 20/12/2018

Accompanying Documents: