DD2290 Move-on referrals and support

Type of decision: 
Director's decision
Code: 
DD2290
Date signed: 
03 December 2018
Decision by: 
David Lunts, Executive Director Housing and Land and Interim CEO of OPDC

Executive summary

Under MD2052, the Mayor has made available up to £50m for a Move-On Programme, to develop homes for people moving on from hostels and refuges and to provide support for those residents. In addition to this funding, the Government is providing up to £200,000 a year for administration costs associated with the programme. The Move-On Programme will not only help people to move on with their lives, it will also free up valuable spaces in hostels and refuges for those in need, helping to alleviate rough sleeping and other forms of homelessness. The homes developed will augment the current stock of c3,700 Rough Sleepers Initiative (RSI) units.

Arrangements for these homes and their occupants will differ in some respects – around referrals, eligibility and support - from those for the current RSI units. Currently, the GLA commissions the Clearing House to deal with referrals to RSI units and the Tenancy Sustainment Teams to provide support to residents of those units. Robust referral and support mechanisms therefore need to be devised and implemented, to ensure that nominations agreements are adhered to, lettings are appropriate and safe, residents receive the right support to help them rebuild their lives and the funding available for support is used and monitored effectively.

Two streams of work, totalling up to £110,000 are proposed. The first will devise the referral and support mechanisms and the second will put them in place.

Decision

That the Executive Director of Housing and Land approves:

Expenditure of up to £110,000 across 2018/19 and 2019/20, using the administration funding from the Government for the Move-On Programme, to be split as follows:

• Up to £30,000 to procure a contractor to devise and assist with the implementation of effective mechanisms for referrals to the homes developed through the Move-On Programme and for support to the residents of these homes; and
• Up to £80,000 for other activities associated with the Move-On Programme to ensure that the mechanisms recommended by the contractor are in place before the first homes are delivered. These activities may include developing new relationships and arrangements with referring organisations and support providers, IT development and putting in place recording and monitoring processes.

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

The Mayor has made available up to £50m of funding to develop homes for homeless people moving on from hostels and refuges (MD2052) (the “Move-On Programme”). In addition to this funding, the Government is providing up to £200,000 a year for administration costs associated with the programme. This will contribute to meeting the Mayor’s aims for a route off the street for every rough sleeper in the capital and for better support for victims of domestic abuse. This programme will not only help people to move on with their lives, it will also free up valuable spaces in hostels and refuges for those in need, helping to alleviate rough sleeping and other homelessness.

The programme launched in late 2016. At that time, the lack of funding to provide the support needed for the people who would move into the homes developed meant that there was very limited interest in bidding into the fund from providers. In recognition of this, at the end of 2017/8, the Mayor successfully lobbied for the conversion of £3.125m of the £50m to revenue funding. As a result, we are now seeing more interest from potential bidders.

The homes developed will augment the current stock of c3,700 Rough Sleepers Initiative (RSI) units. Under current arrangements, everyone who moves into an RSI unit is verified through the Combined Homelessness and Information Network (CHAIN) as a rough sleeper, is referred via a hostel or the Mayor’s No Second Night Out service and receives support from the Mayor’s Tenancy Sustainment Teams (TSTs).

All referrals are received and assessed centrally by the Clearing House (commissioned by the GLA), and properties are pan-London (in that they can be accessed by people from across the capital). The Clearing House also coordinates and brokers relationships between referral organisations, the landlords of the RSI units and the TSTs.

Clearing House’s roles as the central referral body and the coordinator of relationships will continue for the new move-on homes. However, arrangements for these homes and their occupants will differ in some respects from those for the current RSI units, for example:

• A proportion of the homes will be earmarked for people leaving refuges (or victims of domestic abuse moving on from hostels), the overwhelming majority of whom will not have a history of rough sleeping/be recorded on CHAIN. Some will have children (a small proportion of the units will be family-sized). This will mean that referrals will come from a wider group of organisations and there will be additional factors to consider when people being referred are assessed;
• Not everyone moving into the properties will receive support from the Tenancy Sustainment Teams (TSTs) – some people’s support will be provided by other services instead;
• Appropriate support for victims of domestic abuse moving into the properties is likely to be secured centrally – via Clearing House or another route - on a case by case basis, and a central funding pot will be available for this purpose; and
• Not all units will necessarily be available on a pan-London basis (i.e. available to people moving on from any part of the capital), with arrangements varying depending on whether a borough is contributing funding for the units.

It is therefore necessary to devise and implement effective mechanisms for referrals to the homes developed through the Move-On Programme and for support (which will vary depending on the level of need) to the residents of these homes. It is therefore proposed that a contractor is procured to devise these mechanisms and that Clearing House and any other relevant organisations are funded to implement them in readiness for the first homes being delivered.

To achieve the above, this report seeks approval for expenditure of up to £110,000 across 2018/19 and 2019/20, using the administration funding from Government for the Move-On Programme.to be split as follows:

• Up to £30,000 to procure a contractor to devise and implement effective mechanisms for referrals to the homes developed through the Move-On Programme and for support to the residents of these homes; and
• Up to £80,000 for other activities associated with the Move-On Programme to ensure that the mechanisms recommended by the contractor are in place before the first homes are delivered. These activities may include developing new relationships and arrangements with referring organisations and support providers, IT development and putting in place recording and monitoring processes. It may involve varying the GLA’s current contract with Clearing House and procuring a specialist domestic abuse organisation.

Objectives and expected outcomes

The objective is to devise and put in place robust referral, support and other mechanisms for the Move-On Programme and achieve the outcomes set out in paragraph 2.2 below. To achieve this, it is proposed that:

• A contractor is procured to devise the necessary mechanisms, processes, and documentation. This will involve working closely with a range of stakeholders, including the Clearing House, the domestic abuse sector and the Tenancy Sustainment Teams. The anticipated cost of this work is up to £30,000.

• The new mechanisms and structures are put in place, by the Clearing House and potentially other organisations that will play a role in implementation. The anticipated cost of this work is up to £80,000. The nature of these activities will depend on the recommendations from the contractor but may include developing new relationships and arrangements with referring organisations and support providers, IT development and putting in place recording and monitoring processes.

The expected outcomes of the referral, support and other mechanisms that the contractor will be commissioned to devise are that:

• nominations agreements are adhered to
• lettings are appropriate and safe
• residents receive the right support to help them rebuild their lives
• the funding available for support is used and monitored effectively
• all arrangements are in place before the first new homes are delivered via the programme.

Equality comments

Under section 149 of the Equality Act 2010, as public authorities, the Mayor and GLA are subject to a public-sector equality duty and must have ‘due regard’ to the need to (i) eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation; (ii) advance equality of opportunity between people who share a relevant protected characteristic and those who do not; and (iii) foster good relations between people who share a relevant protected characteristic and those who do not. Protected characteristics under section 149 of the Equality Act are age, disability, gender re-assignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, and marriage or civil partnership status (all except the last being “relevant” protected characteristics).

Of those seen rough sleeping in 2017/18:

• 46 per cent were non-UK nationals
• 50 per cent had a mental health need
• 15 per cent were women
• most of those seen rough sleeping (56 per cent) were in the 26-45 age group
• eight per cent were under 26 years old
• 11 per cent were over 55
• eleven people were under 18.

Characteristics of victims of domestic abuse (national figures):

• Gender: women are much more likely than men to be the victims of high risk or severe domestic abuse;
• Age: younger people are more likely to be subject to interpersonal violence. Most high-risk victims are in their 20s or 30s. Those under 25 are the most likely to suffer interpersonal violence;
• Pregnancy: nearly one in three women who suffer from domestic abuse during their lifetime report that the first incidence of violence happened while they were pregnant;
• Separation: domestic abuse is highest amongst those who have separated, followed by those who are divorced or single;
• Drug and alcohol use: victims of abuse have a higher rate of drug and/or alcohol misuse (whether it starts before or after the abuse): at least 20 per cent of high-risk victims of abuse report using drugs and/or alcohol; and
• Mental health: 40 per cent of high-risk victims of abuse report mental health difficulties.

Given the above, the proposals in this paper are likely to have positive impacts on a number of groups with protected characteristics. Specifically, the work outlined above will focus on arrangements – and, once the new homes are delivered, improve outcomes - for victims of domestic abuse (who are more likely than the general population to be women and to have mental health support needs) and for rough sleepers (who are more likely than the general population to have mental health support needs).

The contractor will be required to ensure that:

• Equality and diversity considerations are fully taken into account during the consultation and stakeholder engagement phase of the work to develop new mechanisms and arrangements; and

• The equalities impacts of the options and recommendations they devise are considered and shared with the GLA throughout the development phase.

Other considerations

Key risks and issues

 

Risk description

 

Rating

Mitigating action

 

A lack of contractors with appropriate knowledge and experience.

Green

A robust procurement process will be followed. This will include a detailed specification, which will allow for specialist sub-contractors, being issued to a number of contractors known to have the relevant knowledge and experience.

A lack of bids for the capital funding will mean that no or few homes are delivered through this programme – rendering the work proposed here futile.

Green

The programme is being actively marketed to prospective bidders, with interest having increased markedly since a portion of the funding became available for support costs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

b)         Links to Mayoral strategies and priorities

 

The objectives of the proposals are in line with:

  • the Mayor’s London Housing Strategy policy 7.2c
  • the Mayor’s Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) Strategy.

 

c)         Impact assessments and consultations.

 

​​​​​​​Both the London Housing Strategy and the VAWG Strategy were subject to public consultation and equalities impact assessments.

 

Financial comments

This decision requests approval for revenue expenditure of up to £110,000 for:

a) up to £30,000 to procure a contractor to devise and implement effective mechanisms for referrals to the homes.

b) up to £80,000 for new mechanisms and structure implemented by the Clearing House and other organisations based on the contractor’s review.

The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) have agreed to pay the GLA up to £200,000 a year for additional costs incurred for centralised referral and other arrangements (set out in the Memorandum of Understanding for the Affordable Homes Programme funding). Expenditure will be incurred in 2018/19 and 2019/20 and is be taken from the £200,000 per annum available for this purpose.

Activity table

Invitation to tender issued

Early December 2018

Bids received

Mid December 2018

Bids evaluated and contract awarded

End December 2018

Research and analysis undertaken, and proposed mechanisms and approaches devised, and draft report with recommendations completed

By end-March 2019

Mechanisms, approaches and documentation, and final report, agreed

By end of May 2019

Implementation phase complete, ready for the first new homes to be delivered

Summer 2019


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