Agenda item - Housing First

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Agenda item

Housing First

Report of Executive Director, Health & Adult Social Care (copy attached).

Decision:

1)              The  Committee note the content of the report which is provided for information only.

 

2)              That there be a report back to the Committee in a year’s time outlining the effectiveness and progress with the Housing First approach to housing rough sleepers.

 

3)              That a further report be undertaken to identify the potential savings across the Council and other public service providers that are achievable from using additional properties for Housing First.

 

-        That such a report is completed by January 2018, in order that any savings identified can inform the budget process of 2018/19.

Minutes:

14.1   The Committee considered a report of the Executive Director, Health & Adult Social Care which explained how the council was currently implementing the Housing First model and how this could be developed in the future. The report was presented by the Commissioning & Performance Manager.

 

14.2   Councillor Atkinson stated that Housing First was a model of supported housing that needed to be considered but he needed to know more about how it could work locally.  For example, would there be a local resident requirement?  Councillor Atkinson commented that Brighton Housing Trust operated a very successful model with engagement and rehabilitation with the residents they took on board and they had a basic code of conduct around behaviour.  Councillor Atkinson was concerned at the unconditional aspect of Housing First.  He suggested that there should be some limit on whether someone’s behaviour was acceptable or not. The Commissioning & Performance Manager confirmed that all people involved in Housing First had to demonstrate a local connection and would be known to many services across the city.  The rehabilitation model was one model for dealing with substance misuse. The harm reduction model had to be used for many of the very chaotic homeless clients presented to the council.  They needed to be stabilised before they were able to take part in the Rehabilitation model.  If they were living in stable accommodation they would be more likely to be stabilised.

 

14.3   Councillor Gibson commented he had seen figures that suggested that Brighton & Hove had around 98 rough sleepers with a local connection who the council should be accommodating and were waiting for a hostel place. The average wait was 10 months. Those rough sleepers on the street were deteriorating in that time.  He asked if officers had any thoughts on how this could be overcome and how this desperate situation had been reached.  Councillor Gibson stated that he was aware that Housing First was primarily targeted at entrenched rough sleepers. He had heard that Housing First had been quite successful in Canada with non-entrenched people. He asked for comments about that. Councillor Gibson further asked if the officer agreed that the fundamental problem was access to accommodation in which people could stabilise. He asked how something could be done about this. The Commissioning & Performance Manager explained that in terms of waiting list for hostels, demand had increased significantly as rough sleeping numbers had increased significantly since 2010. Officers were looking at various models and options. Officers were working with partners in trying to improve moving people on so people don’t get stuck in hostels. Officers were also trying to ensure hostels received clients that were the best fit for them. By the end of the year hostels would be different supported accommodation services with specialist criteria. They would work in a very different way with clients. Demand outstripped the supply and she could not answer how this was dealt with.  Canada and other places in America and Scandinavia had used Housing First to accommodate all their rough sleepers.  In some cases they had eradicated rough sleeping. The Commissioning & Performance Manager thought that they had a different housing market. Some of it could be replicated but not all of it. If the government was keen on this as a model she would expect there would be funding to follow. She agreed that access to accommodation was difficult to all groups.

 

14.4   Councillor Mears asked how many hostel beds there were in the city. It was agreed that detailed figures be sent to the Committee. The wording appears below.            

 

“The number of hostel beds in the city:

We currently commission the following 24 hour high support services: 25 beds for people with mental health issues and complex needs, 43 beds for young people, 273 bed spaces for single homeless people and rough sleepers.”

 

14.5   Councillor Gibson set out an amendment from the Green Group as follows:

                                           

That the report recommendations be amended to insert the words as shown in bold italics:

 

2.2 Report back in to the committee in a year’s time outlining the effectiveness and progress with the Housing First approach to housing rough sleepers.

2.3 That a further report be undertaken to identify the potential savings across the Council and other public service providers that are achievable from using additional properties for Housing First;

- That such a report is completed by November, in order that any savings identified can inform the budget process of 2018/19.

 

14.6   The amendment was seconded by Councillor Phillips.

 

14.7   The Executive Director, Neighbourhood, Communities & Housing requested that the report should be completed in January 2018 to allow enough time to provide the information required.  This was agreed by members and Councillor Gibson stressed that the key aim was to inform the budget process. 

 

14.8   The Committee voted on the Green amendment (further amended to state the report is completed by January 2018).  This was unanimously agreed. The Committee then voted on the original recommendation which was agreed unanimously as amended. 

 

14.9   RESOLVED:-

 

(1)            That the Committee note the content of the report which is provided for information only.

 

(2)            That there be a report back to the Committee in a year’s time outlining the effectiveness and progress with the Housing First approach to housing rough sleepers.

 

(3)            That a further report be undertaken to identify the potential savings across the Council and other public service providers that are achievable from using additional properties in Housing First;

 

-        That such a report is completed by January 2018, in order that any savings identified can inform the budget process of 2018/19.

 

Supporting documents:

 


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