To consider the report of the Director (NE) (reference 19/005) attached
The Cabinet considered a report by the Director (NE) (Reference 19/005) in respect of the future provision of an intensive housing support service for homeless people and emergency temporary accommodation for homeless people and the Council’s financial contribution toward these services. Members were advised that the current contract for the Changing Lives service (an intensive housing support service for the most chaotic homeless people within the Borough) was ending in September 2019. The Council currently contributed £40k pa from its homelessness budget for this service and the County Council contributed £137k pa. As recognised by the recent scrutiny review, there was still a need for such a service but the current form of provision was too ambitious and the service specification and method of delivery needed to change. Subject to necessary approvals, the intention was for a revised service specification along with invitations to tender to be published in March 2019. The County Council had signalled its commitment to continue their funding contribution to this service at existing levels. In respect of the provision of emergency temporary accommodation for homeless people in the winter months, Horton Housing was currently commissioned by the County Council to provide this and other support services for homeless people across the Scarborough Borough and Ryedale areas. However, the County Council had now confirmed that as part of a wider need to find significant savings across the board this service would be decommissioned from September 2019. Instead, the County Council was considering alternative ‘in-house’ delivery options for a similar support service but at a significantly reduced capacity. Therefore, it was proposed in the report that the £25k the Borough Council currently spent on this service was added to the commissioning pot for the new Newburn House and Outreach Service and that the service specification for that contract was changed to ensure that this service would continue to be delivered by the new service provider. Members discussed the report, expressing great concern at the adverse impact on vulnerable people in the Borough of the County Council’s decision to reduce significantly its financial support for homeless support services. In reply to a question, the Housing Manager reminded the meeting that although the Borough Council had statutory responsibilities towards homeless people, there was considerable overlap with the County Council’s social care responsibilities.
RESOLVED that the Cabinet:
1) Agree that £40,000 a year from the Council’s homelessness budget is allocated to support the joint commissioning of an intensive housing support service for homeless people from October 2019. This funding is for a three year period with the option to extend for a further 2 years.
2) Agree that £25,000 a year from the Council’s homelessness budget is allocated to support the provision of emergency temporary accommodation for homeless people from October 2019 (for a three year period from October 2019 with the option to extend for a further 2 years) and note that the intention is for this service to be included within the commissioning of the above intensive housing support service.
3) Agree to enter into a formal agreement with NYCC in respect to the use of these monies to support a procurement exercise to be undertaken by them.
4) Give the Portfolio Holder in consultation with the Director the authority to agree to extend the funding for the above services for a further 2 years after the initial 3 year term.
The Council has various statutory duties towards the homeless. The recommendations contained within this report support the Council to meet these duties.