Decision Maker: Cabinet
Decision status: For Determination
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: Yes
To consider the report of the Cabinet member
for Communities, Culture and Heritage and Cabinet member for Health
and Adult Social Care, to accept the outcome of a procurment
process for a range of housing related support services for single
adults, young people and young parents in Southampton
(i) Subject to approval of Council recommendations (i), that approval is given for the procurement of HRS services for young people, young parents and vulnerable single adults;
(ii) Subject to Council approval for the procurement exercise, to delegate authority to the Director of Quality & Integration to carry out a procurement process for the provision of HRS services as set out in this report and to enter into contracts in accordance with contract procedure; and
(iii) Subject to Council agreement to the procurement exercise, to delegate authority to the Director of Quality & Integration following consultation with the relevant Cabinet Members to decide on the final model of commissioned services for HRS and all decision making in relation to this re-commissioning.
1. Southampton City Council (SCC) commissions a range of Housing Related Support (HRS) services for homeless single adults, young people and young parents. The current HRS contracts come to an end on 30 June 2022. Approval is required through Council to carry out procurement for new services.
2. These services enable SCC to meet many of its obligations under the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017, the Children Act 1989 and the Care Act 2014 in a way that achieves best value and provides a basis from which individuals with vulnerabilities develop their tenancy and daily living skills along with other needs being met by partner agencies, such as specialist mental health or drug & alcohol support.
3. Furthermore, having somewhere to live provides an individual with the foundations upon which they can start to build the skills necessary to live independent and fulfilling lives. For many, access to a home is not feasible without appropriate support. Commissioning a range of HRS services provides the necessary settings and support for achieving independence, which in turn has a positive impact on the local economy.
4. Recommendations propose services that are comparable to existing services but reflect some changes to match market rates and accommodate cost pressures and take account of best practice and learning from the review conducted to inform the re-commissioning. Key changes to the provision of HRS services will include:
- the introduction of Housing First for single adults and young people, an evidence-based approach to supporting individuals who are difficult to accommodate in existing options, notably those who have a long history of homelessness; and
- a reduction in the number of accommodation-based units to address cost pressures and under-utilisation in some areas.
5. Commissioning a range of HRS services also contributes to reducing and avoiding costs in other areas of the Council including Housing, Adult Social Care and Children’s Services, for example by avoiding higher cost placements (e.g. residential or Bed & Breakfast) and costly individual packages of support. For example the annual cost of a B&B placement is £21,717 (£59.50 per night), compared to a maximum of £5,928 for a unit located in a HRS service for single adults (£6,273 - £8,437 in hostel setting). In Children’s Services, the annual unit cost of placement for a young person starts at £29,700 and is much higher than the current lowest £3,967 unit price for a place in young people’s HRS setting (£5,369 hostel setting).
1. An extension to existing arrangements has been considered but is not viable. All contract extensions have now been used;
2. Do nothing has been considered and rejected as it would result in no services being in place when the current contracts come to an end. This would leave a large number of vulnerable single adults, young people and young parents without access to accommodation, or accessing unstable and unsuitable options such as sofa surfing and significantly increase our numbers of street sleepers. It would also increase costs elsewhere within the Council as identified in paragraph 5 of the report; and
3. The option for SCC to provide these services in house has been considered. This has been rejected because Southampton and neighbouring areas benefit from a good range of existing specialist providers offering high quality and well-respected services. To pursue a SCC led service could result in reputational damage and would require significant investment. There is a strong market geared up to competitively tender for this contract and deliver quality, specialism and cost effectiveness.
Report author: Sandra Jerrim
Publication date: 13/09/2021
Date of decision: 13/09/2021
Decided at meeting: 13/09/2021 - Cabinet
Effective from: 22/09/2021