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Residents updated on changes to housing support services following consultation

Wiltshire Council is writing to residents in sheltered housing sites to advise them how housing support services will be provided from April next year.

Published 3 November 2021
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Residents across the 130 schemes were asked for their views to help shape future provision.

Currently residents are supported by landlords who legally have to provide tenancy services including referring residents for benefit checks, arranging repairs, ensuring properties are maintained and conducting health and safety checks.

In addition, residents have had access to Housing Related Support (HRS) - a discretionary service to help with everyday living. However less than half of the tenants use the additional service which costs almost £1m a year to run and duplicates a number of services provided by the tenancy support.

The service is separate from council-funded care packages for those who have specific social care needs which are assessed separately.

Residents have been consulted regarding ending HRS next year and to identify if they were able to access other means of support if they need it. The contact with residents was also to identify any potential social care needs which could then be assessed and met appropriately.

Throughout the consultation and development of the service proposals, the council also worked with registered landlords to ensure residents can continue to access tenancy support services and have input into the service proposals.

Wiltshire Council's Community Engagement Managers who work closely with communities and voluntary and charity sector partners have also been linked into the work; helping to identify the community resources available and ensure that they are accessible to sheltered housing residents.

Now following feedback from the consultations and development of the service proposals, the council has made the decision to end the HRS when the contract finishes in March 2022.

Cllr Jane Davies, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care said: "Our consultations provided a useful insight into how our residents access support and helped inform our decision. Landlords will continue to provide tenancy services to residents and we will be encouraging more community engagement to enhance those links with communities and to help our residents' wellbeing.

"Residents will be supported through a transition phase. We know for some residents loneliness is a real factor and we will actively work with our services and community partners to address that as part of this fresh approach to helping people live independently. Additionally, any residents who may have eligible care needs will be offered a care act assessment and appropriate support will be put in place."

A number of the sheltered housing schemes already have community links and the council is working with voluntary and charity sector partners to ensure people are aware of the resources that are available.

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