Supported Accommodation Steering Group minutes: November 2017

Minutes of the second meeting of the Supported Accommodation Steering Group held on 30 November 2017.

Attendees and apologies

  • Graham Thomson – SG; Supported Accommodation Team (Chair)
  • Jeremy Hewer - SFHA
  • Yvette Burgess - HSEU
  • Michael McClements - COSLA
  • Tony Cain - ALACHO
  • David Bookbinder - Glasgow West of Scotland Housing Forum
  • Amanda Britain - CIH
  • Tracy McKen - SG; Supported Accommodation Team
  • Sarah Newton - SG; Social Researcher
  • Joe Jobling - SG; Statistician


  • Frank McGregor - SG; Social Security Directorate

Items and actions

1. Welcome and introductions

2. Minute of last meeting

Minute was approved with a minor change to Amanda Britain’s details

Actions still outstanding: Communication to LA HB teams to flag accommodation. Write to Directors of Finance asking for nomination for a lead officer

3. Update on UK announcement

A paper had been circulated with the details of the UK announcement. A short summary was given and discussion followed about the various different elements with members seeking clarification about what was said in the documents, what had been said by UK Government officials and what was missing from the documents. The focus of the discussions was on the definitions of short term and sheltered and extra housing. The importance of members responding to both consultations was emphasised and to think about potential consequences for Scotland, even where there appears to be no direct implications.

4. Terms of Reference (Paper 1)

Discussion on the change of emphasis on the remit following the UKG announcements. Agreement that main focus needs to be on short term accommodation, but also need overview of sheltered and extra care and long term supported accommodation. It was welcomed that sheltered and extra care would not be under the LHA cap. The group noted that clear definitions were required for all the categories. It was noted that it is the individual that is supported, not the building itself. LAs often do not charge higher rents for sheltered or extra care housing.

Action point – paper updated with groups comments - TM

5. Membership

Discussion on the membership of the group. The group agreed that 2 representative from LAs would be useful with a background in Benefits and homelessness.

The group also discussed if representative organisations should be on the Steering group. It was agreed that Scottish Women’s Aid, Blackwood and Blue Triangle should be invited. The group were also asked to send on suggestions for an organisation providing homeless accommodation.

Action Points:

  • Tony and Michael to send suggestions for LA reps to Tracy
  • Scottish Women’s Aid, Blackwood and Blue Triangle to be invited - TM
  • Group to send on suggestions for a representative from a homeless provider - All

6. Project plan (Paper 2)

The project plan has been updated to reflect the new timescale for the funding being devolved to Scotland. It was noted that there are still some items which may move in timing – such as the SHBE data extract. Most of the development work is in 2018, to allow for commissioning of services as soon as possible and to allow for development of a payment system (or legislation) if required.

The plan will continue to be updated as the project continues.

7. Data and costs for supported accommodation

Sarah and Joe gave an update on data extracted from stat explore. However, no robust information on supported accommodation is held. The group were asked if they were aware of how many providers there are of supported accommodation, but this was also not known.

It was agreed it would be useful to have a meeting with 2 or 3 HB LA representatives to scope what information is available. Members of the Steering Group will also be invited if they wish to attend.

There was also a suggestion that, once the flag on SHBE is in place, that LAs could send on the information to SG to collate. It was agreed that trying to get some indication of the scope would be useful at an early stage.

Action point:

  • Tony and Michael to send on contacts from LAs for the meeting

8. Options for Distribution of Funding (Paper 3)

The paper had been updated following the discussion at the first meeting. Since then, another possible option of support for a national network has been added.

Action point:

  • gather information on approach in Birmingham - YB

9. Communications and Engagement Plan

A short paper showing the meetings and workshops attended from November was circulated. The Group were asked to continue to highlight any opportunities for the team to give an update. Noted that CIH may be an opportunity.

It was highlighted that a supported accommodation page is to be added to the SG website with further information added to the existing Knowledge Hub Group on ‘Housing and Welfare Reform’. A suggestion was made that an article is written for SFHA Housing Magazine

Action points:

  • Add a page to SG website - TM
  • Add further information on to Knowledge Hub site - TM
  • Invite members to join the Knowledge Hub site – TM and JH
  • continue to collate list of stakeholder events attended where updates given – TM
  • JH to send on details for article to TM

10. Risk Register (Paper 4)

2 risks to be added. This is the baseline position and it is important that the group agree the risks and mitigating actions.

Action point:

  • members to review and send back comments on risk register, or otherwise confirm that they are content

11. AOB

None raised

12. Date of next meeting

It was agreed that the next meeting would take place in late January.

Action point: Doodle poll to be sent out - TM

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