Doncaster Supported Housing Improvement Programme

The Supported Housing Improvement Programme (SHIP) is an England wide £20 million funding programme available from 2022-2025. The City of Doncaster Council was successful with its bid for funding and began operation of SHIP in mid-2023. SHIP focuses on three main areas of Supported Housing; Housing Benefits, Housing Standards and Support Review. The project aims to ensure supported housing provides safe and appropriate accommodation, delivers positive outcomes and provides value for money for the taxpayer.

What is Supported Housing

Supported housing provides crucial help to some of the most vulnerable people in our country. It can have an enormous positive impact on an individuals quality of life: from their physical and mental health to their engagement with the community.

In supported housing, accommodation is provided alongside support, supervision or care to help people live as independently as possible in the community. This includes:

  • older people
  • people with a learning disability
  • people with a physical disability
  • autistic people
  • individuals and families at risk of or who have experienced homelessness
  • people recovering from drug or alcohol dependence
  • people with experience of the criminal justice system
  • young people with a support need (such as care leavers or teenage parents)
  • people with mental ill health
  • people fleeing domestic abuse and their children

These are not always distinct groups and many individuals may have multiple needs.

The supported housing sector is diverse, comprising housing associations and local council housing, as well as charities and voluntary organisations. Housing providers and schemes can vary significantly in size and scale: from large organisations with tens of thousands of residents across the country, to smaller local providers who may own one property.

The way accommodation and support services are delivered also varies between schemes; some organisations own properties, some provide support (either within their own or another property), and some may do both. This can impact where legal and regulatory responsibility lies for each property.

What is the Supported Housing Improvement Programme

We believe it is important to ensure those who are living in Supported Housing, should be able to live safe, have access to meaningful support and are encouraged to achieve goals and aspirations and as such, we have become one of 26 Local Authorities in the Country signed up to the Supported Housing Improvement Programme.

You can find out more about the programme here.

In Doncaster, we are reviewing all commissioned and non-commissioned supported housing in the following three areas:

Housing Benefit Standard of Accommodation Quality of Support
  • Ensure all elements of rent and service charges are genuine.
  • Ensuring supported housing provides value for money.
  • Ensure service is cost effective, service charges and rent breakdowns are proportionate.
  • Accommodation is assessed for its suitability in meeting the needs of residents.
  • Housing is accessible, appropriate, safe and hazard-free.
  • Housing meets all building-related and environmental statutory requirements, including those on fire, access and health & safety.
  • Ensuring the support offered is meaningful and tailored to the needs of the individual.
  • Ensuring a Multi-Agency approach.
  • Staff working as part of the supported housing scheme demonstrate an understanding of services and receive comprehensive training.
  • Providers ensure staff are safe and suitable to be in contact with and work with vulnerable client groups.

Supported Housing Improvement Programme (SHIP) - Who are we?

 Doncasters Supported Housing Improvement Programme consists of a multi-disciplined team of Housing Benefits Technical Adjudication Officers, Environmental Health Practitioners and Support Review Officers. 

Housing Benefits

Doncasters SHIP team includes two Technical Adjudication Officers, these officers will review all applications from supported accommodation providers linking in with colleagues in the task force to ensure claims are only paid where accommodation and support referrals are evidenced.

Housing Standards

Doncasters SHIP team includes two Environmental Health Practitioners who carry out property inspections to assess accommodation standards and undertake enforcement action if HHSRS standards are not complied with. 

Support Review

Doncasters SHIP team includes two Support Review Officers who assess whether residents of supported housing are provided with appropriate support for their needs. 

These staff will undertake

  • Inspections and reviews of the meaningfulness of the support being provided.
  • Evaluate support documents.
  • Meet with staff to ensure they have the right skills and training to support residents.
  • Review frequency of support sessions.
  • Verify support needs of individuals being placed.
  • Review & monitor length of stay or customers and ensure progression to independence where appropriate.
  • Undertake safeguarding reviews of dip-sampled cases and of any concerns raised.
  • Meet residents and engage with the experience.
  • Monitor outcomes such as positive move-ons and reduced returns to rough sleeping.

Doncaster Supported Housing Improvement Programme Charter

The Doncaster SHIP Charter will be published here shortly. 

 

New Approaches from Landlords

If you are a landlord providing supported accommodation for the first time where your residents will be relying on Housing Benefit to pay their rent, you will need to provide information about your scheme.

You can request a Housing Benefit Decision in Principle for Supported Accommodation Provision here. 

Request For Housing Benefit Decision In Principle For Supported Accommodation Provision
Download (79KB - DOCX)

Existing Landlords

If you are an existing provider looking to deliver supported housing at a new address where your residents will be relying on Housing Benefit to pay their rent, you will need to provide more information.

(Form coming soon)

 

Report It

We want residents of supported housing to have safe, appropriate accommodation which meets their needs.

If you have a concern about supported accommodation you can report this to us.

(Web form coming soon)

What if my Landlord is a Registered Social Landlord (RSL)?

Where the landlord is a Registered Social Landlord (RSL) our Housing Standards service response will be to:   
  • Cases where the tenant is able to show that the internal complaints process of the RSL has been followed and it would be inappropriate to refer the matter on to the Housing Ombudsman because of outstanding health and safety concerns without a timely plan of action being provided by the RSL.
  • Cases where there is evidence of a significant hazard/risk from the conditions present.

In other situations e.g. dissatisfaction with the RSL’s timescales where there is low risk to tenants and their visitors, tenants are advised to contact:

  • The Housing Ombudsman Service and/or
  •  A designated support service or solicitor specialising in housing law.

 

 

Useful Links

Reporting Anti-Social Behaviour

If you would like to report an incidence of anti-social behaviour please click here.

Reporting concerns about an Adult

If you are worried about an adult please click here for further information.

Reporting concerns about a Child

If you are concerned that a child, or young person under the age of 18, is at risk of abuse please visit the Doncaster Children's Trust website.

Information about Landlord Licensing

For information relating to Landlord Licensing, please visit our dedicated Landlord Licensing webpage.

Information about Private Renting Repairs & Responsibilities

For information relating to Private Renting - House Repairs & Responsibilities please visit our reporting disrepair webpage.

A guide to HHSRS Standards

Updates from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities

Last updated: 08 May 2024 15:36:43

Did you find this page helpful?