Advice from tammy murray and mark horton

Sequence Care Group and their supported living partners Reside, recently gave a presentation exploring the housing options for young people with additional needs at our Transition Event Online.

A popular session, we sadly ran out of time for everyone’s questions on the day. So here, are the remaining ones. Don’t forget, you can re-watch the housing options webinar in full, and download the presentation slides here.

1. Is the only way to access services via adult services? If for example, a child has an Autism diagnosis and then becomes an adult, but hasn’t transitioned to Adult Services would they still qualify? A quick summary of our situation:  3-4 friends, 2 female and 1 male, possibly  ?another male, looking to be in supported living in approximately 5- 6 yrs. How do we decide ‘when’? 

A. If being supported by adult services, the ball would start rolling when they entered these services. This type of set-up is hard to achieve unless the L.A was able to agree that all could live together and would support a tender for the support to go out via their framework process. This would, I believe, mention that housing is needed.

Reside are sometimes approached by support providers who require housing when they have won a tender. The only issue is if you are purchasing this takes time and would depend on the timeline for the ward of the contract. If they were to purchase a house and lease it out that would work differently. There’s quite a lot to explain briefly. I would also suggest speaking to the commissioning team locally.

2. Are there any official objections to mixed gender occupancy?

A. No.

3. How do you manage the different personal budgets in supported living?  We want our young people to have a home, not be in an institute. 

A. Reside do have people who have personal budgets. We normally have to agree with the support provider our service level agreement – this would work differently under these circumstances. As they would have a support provider, they would be sorting this out privately – Reside manage this on a case by case conversation with tenant/family.

4. We have been advised that the longest priority time scale, the commissioning body have to allocate a property is 12 – 24 months. What happens if we deem the property unsuitable?

A. Is this a property via L.A ? I would approach Shelter UK for advice in this instance.

5. We’ve been told that Sunderland have properties and the only ‘outside’ bodies involved in supported living other than Sunderland Council, is a couple of properties run by NEAS – North East Autistic Society. Who would you recommend to help us find and possibly buy/ help modify a property? I have heard of Golden Lane via the Mencap website.  

You can contact Golden Lane Housing mentioned above, or Reside to discuss your plans.

6. Could we buy our own property and rent to the young people? We have been told this not advisable, as there could be complications as to how the property would be divided should the accommodation become unsuitable for one or more of the residents. Is there away around this? 

A. You could apply for Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) funding to support adaptions or changes depending on what they are. I would however, recommend speaking to a professional organisation if you are considering purchasing a property so you fully understand the pros and cons.

Reside can consider leasing a property from a family member so we become the landlord and your tenant, the young people, would become our tenant. This is to be thoroughly explored with commissioner involvement. As mentioned earlier, we do not provide support but would need to know who would be doing so. This would be the same for any housing provider considering a lease type model arrangement.

7. We are in the process of getting Lasting Power of Attorney for the young people, will this prevent social services making decisions on behalf of the individuals without consulting the LPA? 

A. I would say they should always be involving direct family with discussions. The person would have to be able to agree for you to act as LPA unless they lacked capacity, then you would have to apply for court of protection to be an appointed person. I suggest that you speak with Mencap or Citizens Advice Bureau for advice to ensure you are applying for the right Appointeeship.

Tammy Murray is Head of Business Development at Reside Housing. Mark Horton is Head of Sales and Marketing at Sequence Care Group.

If you missed the Housing Options webinar, you can find it with the other presentations on the Main stage page. Please explore the rest of the Transition Event Hub here.