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Go-ahead for changes to safeguard adult Housing Related Support services

This news article was published more than a year ago. Some of the information may no longer be accurate.

Published: 27/01/2016

South Gloucestershire Council is changing the way the Housing Related Support (HRS) that enables adults to continue to live independently is provided.

Plans, which were given the go-ahead by the Adults, Housing and Public Health Committee today (WED), will mean that help someone receives is tailored according to the needs of the individual.

This is a change from the ‘one-size fits all approach’ that has evolved since HRS, formerly Supporting People, funding was introduced in 2003.

It will be the first time the support service, which is designed to help people to maintain their tenancies and is usually delivered by housing providers, has been reviewed by South Gloucestershire Council since it was first brought in.

The changes apply to services that benefit around 400 adults and will come into effect between April 2016 and April 2017 when the current HRS provider contracts come up for recommissioning by South Gloucestershire Council.

HRS is non-statutory and does not generally include health, social care or statutory personal care services. Typically targeted towards older people, it includes assistance to find a suitable property, living independently and help with financial management to maintain a tenancy and being a responsible tenant.

Councillor Ben Stokes, Chair of the Adults, Housing and Public Health Committee, said: “Anyone who needs a service will continue to receive it but the way the support we commission is provided will change. We believe the new-look services will enable us to target resources more effectively while still reaching people in need of support.

“Along with all local authorities, South Gloucestershire Council is facing intense financial pressure with savings of £36 million required by 2019-20. We have to consider how services are currently provided and find different ways to meet the needs of local people while ensuring every pound is spent wisely and effectively.”

The changes will mean that in future, support will be wholly focused on assisting individuals find and maintain suitable accommodation and linking them to other services and facilities in order to help them settle into their neighbourhood.

The changes to the way support is supplied by housing associations and other agencies will save an estimated £322,000 a year through economies of scale and greater cost-efficiency. They follow six weeks of consultation with service users and providers.

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