£1.1m housing service for people in crisis to be recommissioned

Wednesday, September 30th, 2020 8:51am

By Charlotte Green, Local Democracy Reporter @CharGreenLDR

Bosses are to recommission a £1.1m housing service for 'people in crisis' including victims of domestic abuse and residents with mental health issues.

Oldham's cabinet have considered proposals to formally re-tender a supported housing scheme within the borough which would extend it for a further three years.

Currently there are 104 beds which are designated for people with a range of needs, by two different not-for-profit providers.

Councillors were told that the aim of the project is to provide housing with care to people who find themselves ‘in a state of crisis’.

Three services are delivered within the scheme, with 47 beds provided by the housing association Jigsaw for ‘complex adults’ aged 18 and over.

A second service by Depaul UK is specifically for young people, with 32 beds designated for residents aged between 16 and 23.

And finally a further 25 beds are provided by Jigsaw for women and children, such as those who are fleeing domestic abuse.

The scheme currently costs £1.195m a year, and would face a slight inflationary uplift of £24k.

Mark Warren, managing director for community health and social care, said: “It prevents people facing social exclusion and taking into account some of the challenges we face in the borough at this particular point in time it’s felt that this housing service which offers 104 bed spaces across ten buildings is absolutely vital to supporting those people in need.

“Basically the service provides a period of stabilisation and it offers accommodation with support to enhance people’s lives chances who were going through a difficult time.

“So that’s often people who were in crisis, have mental health issues, substance misuse issues, they are the victims of domestic violence and therefore they are in need of housing to actually take them through that period of their lives where we can work with them and hopefully help them move on to the next stage of their life.”

Mr Warren said there were was a ‘clear demand’ for the service, with 219 households being supported in the last financial year.

At the beginning of April this year there were 61 people on the waiting list, although none of those were for the women and children’s beds.

The three year contract award, with the option to extend for a further two years, would be delegated to the cabinet member for health and social care Councillor Zahid Chauhan.

Coun Chauhan said: “It again demonstrates the commitment of this council to protect the most vulnerable young people in this town even during very difficult times.”

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