Residents urged to share their views in the final weeks of homelessness and housing-related services consultation

27 February 2017

Residents are being urged to make sure they have their say in the final two weeks of the homelessness and housing-related services recommission consultation.
 
Cheshire West and Chester Council is looking to recommission its four housing-related and homelessness services across the borough, currently run by different providers:
  • Housing-related floating support - a visiting support service, which aims to prevent a person losing their home in the first instance and helping people to resettle when moving on to independent living. The current service provider also operates advice and information hubs in key locations.
  • Housing-related support for people aged 16-25 years - supported housing service which can be deployed to any property, enabling preventative work to take place including mediation and supporting a tenancy.     
  • Housing related support for those over 25 years - support can be delivered to any property and also move with someone as they progress to independent living.   
  • Homelessness service for single people and couples - for those who are homeless and require a place to stay, including people who would otherwise be sleeping rough. The service has a proactive approach to outreach and works with other agencies to share intelligence and locate individuals. 
All of the current contracts are due to finish at the end of March 2018 and the Council is now looking to ensure that the new service is more co-ordinated, efficient and continues to support some of the most vulnerable people within our society. 
 
The consultation closes on Tuesday, March 7 and can be found by visiting www.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk/hrsconsultation.
 
Cabinet Member for Housing, Councillor Angela Claydon said: “Having a stable and affordable home is fundamental to someone’s quality of life.  Whilst this is something that many of us take for granted, there are still too many individuals and families, who, for a variety of reasons, experience housing difficulties.
 
“We work closely with our partners to provide a range of services to support those who find themselves homeless or who need housing-related support but whilst excellent work is being done, homelessness is increasing.
 
“With more residents being placed in temporary accommodation we have an opportunity to review our approach and see how, with a clear focus on prevention, we can link vital services together in a more effective way to support those most vulnerable.
 
“We are working hard to engage and work closely with residents, service users, partners and charities every step of the way. It’s really important that residents who may have a view on these services take the opportunity to share their thoughts through the consultation, which closes on Tuesday, March 7.”  
The new model proposes to create a service with an increased focus on prevention that would be delivered by one provider – reducing fragmentation in the delivery of support.
 
This would support seamless provision for service users, joining up accommodation and support - including daytime activities - to prevent and alleviate homelessness and create more stable and sustainable lifestyles, whilst reducing confusion in regards to which provider offers what support.
 
The proposed new single service would include:
  • Increased focus on homelessness prevention
  • Greater integration with the Council’s Housing Team, West Cheshire Homes
  • Increased range of smaller-sized housing units for those requiring accommodation
  • Specified and increased temporary accommodation provision
  • More specialist services for 16 and 17 year olds
  • Increased access to emergency beds for people who would otherwise sleep rough
Preventative services including mediation, advice and information services, intervention services to provide support to people in their home, and emergency accommodation for people with nowhere else to go, including direct access emergency accommodation will make up the three key elements of the new offer. 

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