Supported Accommodation Steering Group minutes: October 2017

Minutes of the first meeting of the Supported Accommodation Steering Group, held on 24 October 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

No apologies

2. Terms of Reference (Paper 1)

Discussion on the paper agreement to add/edit into remit and aims:

  • Incorporate ‘future need’ into remit
  • promote continued provision of supported housing
  • to take account of the wider context and changes e.g. housing strategies, social security changes in Scotland and the rest of the UK, and connection to health and social care and IJBs
  • add to gathering robust information through collation of existing data and information, identifying gaps and working to fill them

Action point – paper updated with groups comments - TM

3. Governance Structure including Membership

Discussion on the planned governance structure for the group, including the reason for a small steering group at this stage with other sub-groups being set up after the announcements on the detail of the scope. Additional individuals may also be invited onto the steering group as required following the announcement. The Group also agreed that individuals could be invited for specific items on the agenda when more specialist knowledge of wider systems is required. The group felt knowledge and experience of using the housing benefit system would be required at a later point.

There was also a suggestion made that workshops could be beneficial to help set up the network that will be critical in taking work forward. The links to IJBs and Health and Social care were stressed.

There may be a need to invite representatives of interest groups for specific populations. There will need to be landlord, support providers and service users representation on the sub groups and the Group also needs to take account of private sector providers.

It was agreed that membership of the Steering Group would be unchanged for now but would be revisited at subsequent meetings.

4. Project plan (Paper 2)

It was noted that this is a high level project plan, which will be subject to change as further detail on the scope and timing of the project emerges. The group felt that some new tasks need to be added:

  • review of existing data
  • following publication of the white paper, communication to LAs and providers
  • work with LAs to ensure that HB system is up to date
  • for options appraisal – add estimating administration costs
  • negotiation with UKG for transitional period

Action point – project plan updated (also see section 5) – TM

5. Data collection – SHBE and Census

The group felt that the existing data should be reviewed, before any request for additional information. Additionally, any survey will require careful consideration of wording to ensure that returns are maximised and that the data contained within them was accurate.

Dissemination of the survey will have to wait till after the descriptions of the scope of the project are announced. The group (and the organisations they represent) will encourage organisations to make returns.

There are risks with the data collection:

  • there will be data that is not included in any returns – need to try to minimise this
  • need comprehensive mapping of the area – including in-depth work on quality around key areas
  • needs to include more than specified accommodation

The group agreed that there is a real benefit to identifying a lead officer in each LA – will ask Directors of Finance to nominate and remind them that this is a priority task and as accurate information is critical.

Can also ask landlords to get in touch with LA to check that accommodation is flagged correctly.

Action points:

  • need a paper looking at existing data and identifying gaps - ASD
  • need communication to LA HB teams to flag accommodation – GT, TM
  • need to write to Directors of Finance asking for nomination for a lead officer – GT, TM

6. Options for Distribution of Funding (Paper 3)

Discussion on the high level objectives to include wording on strategic planning links and synergy with broader SG policies, the impacts on service users and on transition for landlords.

There were several suggestions for updating the criteria including strategic fit, outcomes for individuals, feasibility of delivery, acceptability, and risks.

Suggestion that Option 3 be changed to payment to individuals.

Consideration was given to whether alternative collaborative approaches at a local level could work in Scotland. A suggestion was made to check on progress in Greater Manchester where new collaborative schemes were due to be piloted which may provide another option. Apart from these suggestions, the group thought this captured the options for distribution of funding.

Action points:

  • paper updated - TM
  • gather information on approach in Greater Manchester - YB

7. Communications and Engagement Plan (Paper 4)

The group noted that it is important for the communications to flow both up and down as well as across sectors. It was noted that it may require regional meetings to generate interest and get a network of interested parties involved. It needs to be a multi layered approach.

Some suggestions for websites included SHN (for members), community care link workers and iHub (which has a section on Place, home and housing).

Action points:

  • investigate suggested website links - TM
  • collate list of stakeholder events attended where updates given - TM

8. Risk Register (Paper 5)

Risk register to be circulated for comments

9. AOB

None raised

10. Date of next meeting

It was agreed that the next meeting would take place in the second half of November.

Action point - Doodle poll to be sent out - TM

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