SUPPORTED Move-On Accommodation
One of the key issues facing staff and residents at our hostels is the lack of decent and suitable move-on accommodation. This means that some residents are forced to stay at the hostel longer than necessary. As a consequence, Haven First is forced to turn vulnerable, homeless people away because there are no hostel beds available. For residents who have rent arrears, this problem is exacerbated by the fact that housing providers may not accept these vulnerable people as tenants. It is for these reasons that one of our key objectives is to increase the number of supported move-on properties.
In 2005, we started a programme of acquiring premises suitable for move-on of our clients. We now manage 11 properties housing up to 20 ex-residents. Details of these are as follows:
- Haven 3 to 6 - two one bed flats and 2 studio flats operated in partnership with Stevenage Borough Council (started 2008)
- Haven 7 - accommodates 3 in a shared house operating in partnership with Stevenage Borough Council (started 2011)
- Haven 8 - accommodates 3 in a shared house owned and operated by Haven First (started 2015)
- Social Lettings Property – 6 x 1 bed self contained units in shared house property managed for local landlord
All hostel residents are eligible to apply for so-called supported, second stage move-on accommodation when a place becomes available. Prospective tenants are selected through a referral process and interview. If successful, they initially sign up to a 6 month Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement.
To maintain contact with ex-residents, we operate an outreach service known as "floating support".
We are actively seeking to increase our portfolio of move-on properties, particularly as capital assets, due to decreasing availability of council and social housing and the constraints associated with the private rental sector.