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REPORT TO CABINET 3 June 2003 TITLE OF REPORT: Bleach Green Special Needs Bungalow REPORT OF: Steve Bramwell, Group Director, Community Based Services EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Work has been ongoing within the Disabilities Division to improve the range of services for people with learning disability, particularly in relation to supporting independence. The proposed housing development at Bleach Green has afforded the opportunity to enable a supported living initiative to be included in the scheme subject to the necessary agreements. The report recommends that a purpose built, fully adapted bungalow be provided within the Bleach Green Development and which will be procured by Nomad Housing Group Limited. This will enable four people with learning disabilities to achieve a real alternative to long term residential care and hold their own tenancies, live within the community of their choice and reduce the need for ongoing social care support. The Council will have sole rights to nominate tenants to whom Nomad will let the property. Policy Context 1. This initiative is at the heart of the Council’s policy statement enabling all local people to realise their full potential and enjoy the best quality of life. In addition the commitment to provide social support and care to help enable them live with dignity and as independently as possible has been the key driver in the development of the project. Consultation 2. Significant consultation regarding the housing needs of people with disabilities has taken place through the Partnership Board for Learning Disabilities, the housing strategy and needs assessment as well as ongoing comments about the need to offer supported housing as a flexible option in social care provision. This way forward is supported by all concerned, particularly people who are waiting for such housing arrangements. The portfolio holders and ward councillors support the proposals. Implications 3. The financial implications are: The cost of the bungalow at Bleach Green is estimated to be £340,000 and will be funded through Mental Health Supplementary Credit Approval of £98,000 with the necessary balance of £242,000, being provided from existing revenue resources. This will result in expected revenue savings of approximately £130,000 per annum, as a result of redressed commissioning commitments for the tenants who would otherwise be placed in independent residential settings. 4. The Strategic Director, Finance and ICT confirms that the investment in the bungalow at Bleach Green can be accommodated from Supplementary Credit Approval and existing revenue resources. 5. The legal implications require that the Council enter into an agreement with Nomad who is the provider of the housing recommendation. 6. The development implications require agreement on best value on all costs associated with the development. The Group Director, Development and Enterprise confirms that a procurement offering Best Value will be achieved. The benefit to people with a learning disability is realised in relation to choice, inclusion, independence, improved quality of life and greater wealth. Recommendations 7. The Cabinet is recommended to agree that: i) A purpose built, fully adapted bungalow be provided, procured by Nomad Housing Group Limited within the housing development at Bleach Green. ii) The Council will have sole rights to nominate tenants to whom Nomad will let the property. iii) That authority be given to the Group Director Development and Enterprise to conclude discussions with Nomad with regard to the specification and cost within the agreed budget. iv) That authority be given to the Strategic Director, Legal and Corporate Services to enter into an appropriate agreement on behalf of the Council with Nomad Housing Group Limited. For the following reasons: The development is in line with policy objectives. The service improvement will assist good outcomes for people with learning disabilities. It will assist performance with Social Care Performance Assessment Framework. CONTACT: Margaret Whellans, extension 2630 PLAN REF: 1038 APPENDIX 1 Background 8. A significant amount of work has been undertaken over the past two years to understand and improve the range of living options for people with a learning disability. 9. There are a number of drivers for this. It is our stated policy that we are aiming to promote independence and helping people to realise their full potential. People are financially better off and have an improved quality of life when maintained within their own homes. Our performance in the national performance targets on people helped to live at home could be better. Supported living schemes have not been within housing strategy to a significant degree within Gateshead in the past yet are a positive option for many people with complex disabilities. 10. The housing needs analysis indicated the need to promote more housing opportunities and the strategic development of Bleach Green in partnership with Nomad Housing Group Limited provided the opportunity to develop the initiative. Current Situation 11. Very few options are available for people with a learning disability in Gateshead and the predominant outcome has been residential care. This is not necessarily the best option for people with learning disabilities and their carers, and is also a financial drain on the Council’s resources. Proposal 12. It is proposed that a purpose built, fully adapted bungalow is procured by Nomad within the housing development at Bleach Green. The Council nominate the tenants to who m Nomad will let the property. Consultation 13. Extensive work on housing options has been carried out both as part of Housing Strategy and the Planning Framework of the Partnership Board. In addition discussions are ongoing from people with a learning disability and their carers about the need to increase and address the need for supported living options in Gateshead. The portfolio holders and ward councillors support the proposals. Alternative Options 14. Different ways to access finance have been considered but have not been possible such as through Housing Corporation funds, Learning Disability Development Fund and Strategic Health Authority capital. 15. In addition opportunities within existing housing stock are also being progressed, such as Warwick Court. However, the needs of these particular people require specially adapted property. Implications of Recommended Option 16. Equal Opportunities Implications – This development will assist the inclusion of people with learning disabilities in their local community and give equal rights to tenancies. 17. Crime and Disorder Implications - Nil 18. Environmental Implications - Nil 19. Human Rights Implications – This development is central to promoting the right to respect for private and family life for people with complex disabilities. 20. Ward Implications – Blaydon Background Information 21. Valuing People White Paper.
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