Housing and New Homes Committee

Agenda Item 38


Subject:                    Rough Sleeping Initiative 5 Grants


Date of meeting:    15th November 2023


Report of:                 Executive Director, Housing, Neighborhoods and Communities


Contact Officer:      Name: Aaron Burns

                                    Tel: 01273 294163

                                    Email: aaron.burns@brighton-hove.gov.uk


Ward(s) affected:   All


For general release


1.            Purpose of the report and policy context


1.1         To obtain approval to continue with grant agreements for three services funded through the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) ‘Rough Sleepers Initiative 5’ (RSI5) funding. 


1.2         The three services referenced in this report have a total funding value of over £600,000 each requiring committee approval. Services One and Two have been active since July 2022 and service Three has been active since September 2022. 


1.3         This report lays out the background to these services, the current position and the requirements to move forward.


2.            Recommendations


2.1         That Committee agree the continuation of the three services through the grant funding from DLUHC.


3.            Context and background information


3.1         The three services (detailed separately below) form part of the Single Homeless and Rough Sleeper Accommodation Pathway. They are essential elements of this pathway.


3.2         The ‘Off Street Offer’ provides direct accommodation for people sleeping rough, enabling an initial assessment in a safe and secure setting in order to understand the most appropriate accommodation options to move to. The Seagulls project offers accommodation with medium level of support, enabling people to step down from higher support when appropriate to do so.  The Southdown project then provides floating support for when people are ready to live independently, with the support assisting people to maintain that accommodation.


3.3         The services were included in BHCC’s funding bid for the DLUHC RSI5 awarded in May 2022. The services are funded wholly by the ring fenced RSI5 funding. Any underspend on this funding is retained by DLUHC. 

3.4         Due to the total funding value BHCC’s procurement team have advised that Committee approval is required to move forward before Officers can sign the outstanding grant agreements with providers.


3.5         The services have monitored service performance indicators and are contract managed by the Single Homeless and Rough Sleeper Commissioning Team. The three services are currently performing satisfactorily and within performance indicators.


3.6         Services have not been brought to Committee prior to this report due to the speed at which mobilisation was required in line with the funding award, alongside the mobilisation of ‘Rough Sleepers Accommodation Programme’ funded services and capacity within the service following the ‘Everyone In’ response. The funding means that save for officer time there is no costs to the Council. None the less there has been some procurement of local services all be it using DLUHC funds. Approval by Committee will enable grant agreements to be signed for the services to operate as currently.


3.7         The current total grant funding values is £2,226,234 for the term 07/2022 to 03/2025. This level of funding has been agreed as part of the RSI5 bid moderation process based on the information submitted in the BHCC bid.


4.            Service One – Off Street Offer – Glenwood Lodge Place


4.1         Service One is part of BHCC’s Off Street Offer for rough sleepers. The service offers direct access to accommodation for people sleeping rough, via referral from the Street Outreach Service. It provides 30 units of accommodation and is delivered by BHCC Health & Adult Social Care (HASC).


4.2         Referrals are made by the Street Outreach Team for male verified rough sleepers. The service provides 24 hour support, working in a trauma informed manner to support first stage recovery from rough sleeping.  


4.3         The service is within the Glenwood Lodge Place hostel, run by BHCC. The remaining18 beds in the hostel are managed by HASC however referrals are made by the Single Homeless Adults Supported Accommodation Panel - HNC.


4.4         The service works on a Single Service Offer model, focusing on quick assessment, reconnections and links with statutory assessment. The service aims for a 90 day stay, providing quick referral and intervention for service users to longer term services both within and outside the city.


4.5         The funding provides an average of 200 hours per week of staffing through the term of the service, covering Service Manager, Deputy Manager, Assessment & Reconnections Workers and Night Workers.



4.6         The total value of the grant for the service is: £817,374.00 broken down into:

2022/2023 - £275,365 (01/07/22 to 31/03/23)

2023/2024 - £285,877

2024/2025 - £256,132


5.            Service Two – Medium Support HMOs – Seagulls


5.1         Service Two is part of the longer term pathway for Single Homeless and Rough Sleepers in the city. The Seagulls Project provides 36 rooms in HMOs across the city. The Service Provider is Safe Haven Sussex CIC.


5.2         Nominations are made from BHCC’s Supported Accommodation Panel – HNC for single adults locally connected to the city requiring support to live independently.


5.3         The service provides a medium level of support, meaning step down from higher support projects within the city or for those who come into the pathway with less complex needs but recovering from homelessness.


5.4         The service provides trauma informed person-centred support with staff available during the day and additional on call provision as required evenings and weekends. The service supports residents to move on to low support accommodation or independent living within two years.


5.5         The funding provides approximately 260 hours of staffing per week. This covers Service and Service Manager, Team Leader, Support Co-ordinators and Administrator.


5.6         The total value of the grant for the service is: £594,590.00 broken down into:

2022/2023 - £195,590 (01/07/22 to 31/03/23)

            2023/2024 - £266,000

            2024/2025 - £133,000        


6.            Service Three – Transition & Resettlement – Southdown


6.1         Service Three is part of the longer term pathway for Single Homeless and Rough Sleepers in the city. The Grant Funded Transition & Resettlement Service (T&R) sits alongside the Council’s Core Funded T&R service. The Service Provider is Southdown Housing Association. The Service provides floating support for adults or young people moving into independent accommodation and manage a private sector tenancy.


6.2         Referrals are made to the service by providers with the Young Person and Single Homeless Adults accommodation pathway as well as BHCC’s Housing Options Team.


6.3         The service provides floating support, allowing stepdown from supported accommodation, rough sleeping or emergency accommodation for those ready to leave independently but requiring support for the transition. 


6.4         The service aims to offer support and intervention for an average of nine months, working with a case load of around 60 individuals at any one time. 


6.5         The funding provides staffing for the project including direct staffing of Team Manager, 5 Resettlement Officers and Admin Support, as well as other additional project costs.


6.6         The total value of the grant for the service is: £814,270.00 broken down into:

2022/2023 - £179,670 (01/09/22 to 31/03/23)

            2023/2024 - £314,160

            2024/2025 - £320,440


7.            Risks without approval


7.1      If approval is not given for services to continue and officer signature on the outstanding grant agreements this places BHCC under the following risks:


7.2        Without signed grant agreements, services are being carried out without acknowledgement and acceptance of agreed terms of service. In the event of poor performance, service mismanagement, dispute over pricing or serious incident this leaves BHCC in a vulnerable position. It should be noted that at the time of this report the services are performing too or above expected standard and meeting the performance indicators set out in service specifications. It is also noted that the legal position is challenging as there has been no formal contract put in place (in the absence of signature). It is probable that the Court would deem a contract is in effect as both parties have acted accordingly, but it would be useful to formalise the situation.


7.3      If Service One is prevented from continuing this would leave the Council without its main Off Street Offer for rough sleepers. This would see an increase of 30 rough sleepers within the city, placing significant pressure on resources both within and outside the Council. In addition the individuals supported by the Off Street Offer would have increased risk of deterioration of health and wellbeing, risking possible loss of life due to prolonged rough sleeping.


7.4      In addition at Service One, staff are employed direct by BHCC. If the service is not able to continue that the posts funded would be at risk of redundancy.


7.5      If Service Two is prevented from continuing this would leave the Council without 36 beds within the Single Homeless Supported Accommodation pathway. This would prevent move on from High Support Hostels, keeping residents within these settings for longer. If access to High Support or Medium Support beds is reduced this will see residents remaining in emergency accommodation (at cost to BHCC), Off Street Offer or rough sleeping for longer periods of time with increased risk of deterioration.


7.6      As the services are DLUHC funded if they are unable to continue this would need to be reported to DLUHC and the ring fenced funding returned. Reputationally this will reflect poorly on BHCC and is likely to influence future funding decisions.

8          Conclusion


8.1      It is recommended that committee approval is given to continuation of the services and authorisation for the Executive Director HNC to sign the outstanding grant agreements.



9.         Financial implications


9.1       There are no financial implications arising from the recommendations in this report. All three services are funded through the Rough Sleeper Initiative 5 (RSI5) grants programme funded by the Department of Levelling up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC).  



10.       Legal implications


10.1    There are no legal implications arising directly from the report’s recommendation.


Name of lawyer consulted: Liz Woodley                    Date consulted: 06/11/23



11.       Equalities implications


11.1    There are no equalities implications in the approval of these grant payments   



12.       Sustainability implications


12.1    None arising directly from this report.



13.       Social Value Implications


13.1    None arising from this report



14        Procurement implications


14.1 These arrangements are grant agreements and therefore are not subject to the Public Contract Regulations 2015. Therefore none arising directly from this report.



15        Crime and Disorder Implications


14.1    None arising directly from this report.


15        Public Health Implications


15.1    None arising directly from this report.