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Decision details

Budget Reductions to Housing Related Support Budget 2019

Decision Maker: Director of Commissioning, Inclusion and Learning

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No

Purpose:

This report sets out proposals for reducing funding to four services currently commissioned by the People Portfolio, to assist the Council to meet its budget within available resources.

 

The report also proposes to extend the Homeless Prevention and Resettlement Contract provided by Shelter for two years which is permitted within the current contract.

 

It also proposes to vary the contract to merge a small service funded by Children’s Commissioning to the Homeless Resettlement and Prevention contract to streamline Council contracts and enable a short term continuation of this service to enable the Council to undertake a review of its early intervention and prevention work.

Decision:

To give authority to:

 

  1. Negotiate with South Yorkshire Housing Association with a view to reducing contract price by £350,000 p.a. for over the whole contract term or in the alternative where agreement cannot be reached to terminate the contract, as per the terms of the agreement.

 

  1. Negotiate with Shelter with a view to reducing the contract price by £150,000 p.a. or in the alternative where agreement cannot be reached, terminate the contract as per the terms of the agreement on 2nd October 2019.

 

  1. Where Shelter agree to a contract price reduction:

 

a.    extend the Homeless Prevention and Resettlement contract to 2nd October 2021; and

 

b.    vary the contract with Shelter to provide an additional £26,000 for 6 months from 1st April 2020 to continue to provide specialists housing support to families and children.

 

  1. Terminate the Handy Person Contract with Yorkshire Housing by providing at least three months notice and thereafter not re-procure the service.  Officers will work with Yorkshire Housing to ensure an appropriate notice period is given to allow for alternative sustainable options to be explored and impact on staff and service users to be managed appropriately.

 

Note: that the Transitional Landlord Contract will end on 30th November 2019 and shall not be re-procured.  Officers will work with Yorkshire Housing to ensure an appropriate notice period is given to allow for alternative sustainable options to be explored and impact on staff and service users to be managed appropriately.

Reasons for the decision:

In July 2019, the Lead Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care approved a new approach to the commissioning of housing related support.  This will, over the next 2-3 years, integrate the commissioning strategy and resources associated with the programme with wider strategies across the Council and other partners like the NHS, so that housing related support is more integrated with other preventative services and support services which help people live independent lives in their own homes.  This will include the Council as a landlord improving the level of targeted support it gives to its own tenants and the reduction of managing a large number of contracts.

 

For example, more integrated and locally delivered support for people who may struggle with a range of inter-related challenges, including issues around finding and retaining suitable housing, family problems, mental health issues, drug and alcohol problems, domestic violence, and poverty will be developed.

 

As now, there will be a preventative, public health approach to helping people who are at risk of the poor outcomes outlined above, including homelessness and other related problems, with earlier support to tackle the root causes rather than waiting until problems reach a crisis point.  Integration of commissioning activity and finances across different parts of the Council will enable resources are deployed more effectively.

 

This approach will be developed in more detail over the next 6 months.  In the meantime and in line with the direction of travel agreed in the Cabinet Member decision, taken on 27th August 2019, a number of initial changes are proposed to some existing contracts and services to assist the Council to work within its available financial resources. 

 

These proposals would reduce the amount of resource invested in floating support services for people with multiple needs at risk of homelessness and for older people currently supported in a commissioned service to live independently at home. It also proposes that two services where contracts have ended or are due to end are not recommissioned.

 

This will reduce the current annual spend by £787,469. The savings will come into effect over two financial years starting 2019/20.

 

This decision is considered the best option to make considered savings in year one before more detailed early intervention models of service have been developed.

 

Alternative options considered:

Making no reductions from this budget would not help meet the required reduction from the Housing Support Budget between 2019 and 2022

This would result on pressures on other statutory budgets.

To make more savings this year from the Housing Support Budget would not give enough time to consider any reorganisation of services and could not have been met within this year.  Further work is required to align the budgets within a more joined up commissioning process.

 

Publication date: 10/09/2019

Date of decision: 09/09/2019

Accompanying Documents: