Decision details

Single Homelessness Accommodation Programme

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No

Decisions:

The Committee considered a report seeking authority to bid for capital funds to the value of £480,000 and revenue funds to the value of £167,789 from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) Single Homelessness Accommodation Programme (SHAP) to purchase and provide support to six additional Housing First units from 1 April 2024 to relieve and prevent rough sleeping in Reading.

 

The report explained that in September 2022 the Government had published their new cross-government strategy ‘Ending rough sleeping for good’, setting out how they were investing £2 billion over the next three years to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping.  The SHAP had been announced as part of this strategy, with the aim to increase the supply of good quality, specialist accommodation and housing-led approaches.

 

The report noted that Reading had limited existing Housing First provision, currently sourced through a combination of its own stock and registered providers accommodation. The funding under SHAP would allow the Council to increase its provision of longer-term accommodation meeting the needs of vulnerable residents to support in recovery and integration into the wider community.  The expansion of Housing First provision would consequently improve throughput in existing supported accommodation widening the reach of these services to other individuals that required them.  Expanding Housing First fitted with the Council’s approach under the Rough Sleeping Initiative (RSI) 2022-25 grant funding for Housing First and tailored off the streets support, moving from outreach towards in reach support once people were accommodated, helping them to sustain their accommodation long term.

 

The report therefore proposed that the Council purchase and provide support to six additional Housing First units from 1 April 2024 subject to the SHAP grant funds being allocated and awarded by DLUHC.  There was an ‘evergreen’ grant funding condition which required that properties purchased under the SHAP scheme would need to be made available to the single homeless cohort in perpetuity.  The revenue funding would provide for one additional FTE Housing First support worker over three years, from April 2024 to March 2027, to complement the existing RSI grant-funded contract delivering Housing First.

 

Resolved –

 

(1)       That the application to DLUHC for Single Homeless Accommodation Programme (SHAP) funding in the maximum sum of £647,789, the grant to cover both revenue and capital expenditure to (a) purchase six additional units and (b) acquire one additional Housing First support worker, be authorised;

 

(2)       That, subject to the successful outcome of the application outlined in point 2 above, the Assistant Director of Housing and Communities, in consultation with the Lead Councillor for Housing, be authorised to enter into a grant agreement with DLUHC for it to provide SHAP funding of a maximum sum of £647,789;

 

(3)       That a budget of £705,900 to match fund the capital element of the grant, funded through a combination of S106 contributions and Housing Revenue Account borrowing, be approved;

 

(4)       That the total capital spend of £1,185,900 to purchase six homes as set out in the report be approved;

 

(5)       That the Assistant Director of Housing and Communities be authorised to purchase the relevant properties.

Publication date: 15/11/2023

Date of decision: 30/10/2023

Decided at meeting: 30/10/2023 - Policy Committee

Accompanying Documents: