13 July 2010

Arrangements for supported housing for young people in Northampton and Kettering are set to change.

Northamptonshire County Council is moving towards a new model of supported housing which will see young people living in ordinary housing rather than hostel accommodation.

Currently, Northamptonshire YMCA is contracted by Northamptonshire County Council to deliver supported housing for young people in Northampton and Kettering.

The majority of the supported housing provided is hostel-based with shared kitchen, bathroom and living facilities. A significant proportion of the costs of the service are spent on running the hostels, including building management and security costs.

Instead, the county council will work in partnership with Northampton Borough Council and Kettering Borough Council to house young people in ordinary housing settings instead of hostel accommodation.

This will allow funding to be spent on supporting the young people, rather than maintaining the high overhead costs associated with hostel provision.

Councillor Robin Brown, county council cabinet member for health and adult social services said: “The increasing pressure on public sector funding demands a fresh look at the most cost effective means of responding to the housing and support needs of young people amongst other vulnerable populations within Northamptonshire.

“Vulnerable young people need a decent, safe place to live as well as a high-quality support service whilst also being good value for money. This new model will see resources focused on delivering services to young people to make a real difference to their lives and help them to make a successful transition to independence, rather than spending money on running expensive hostels.”

The county council is working with Northamptonshire YMCA to ensure a smooth transition to the new arrangements and it is expected that from this week, no new referrals will be made to the current services. Instead, young people will be supported by their key workers with a personalised support plan to move into the new living options.

Councillor Brown said: “We are committed to ensuring continuity of support for the young people who are moving on from current services and will ensure they are fully supported throughout the process and beyond.”

Additional information:

The contracts with Northamptonshire YMCA finished in April this year, but were extended for a further year to allow time for a competitive tendering process to take place.

Unfortunately, the tender was withdrawn because the requirement for a fair and equitable competitive process could not be met and because the current services do not meet the quality, outcomes and value for money that is required by the county council for the people it supports, it is not possible to continue the current arrangements with Northamptonshire YMCA beyond the year extension (due to end March 2011).