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.


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.

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

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.


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

CONTACT: Margaret Whellans, extension 2630                    PLAN REF: 1038
                                                                        APPENDIX 1


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

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

      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.


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.


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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