Norwich hostel move-on agreement 2021
This agreement is made the 5th day of April 2021 between:
- Norwich City Council
- YMCA Norfolk
- St Martins Housing
- Sanctuary Supported Living
- Hinde House (Orwell Housing Association)
- Hope into Action
- House of Genesis
- Home Group
- Ripley Project
- Pathways Norwich
- Umbrella Housing
- The Benjamin Foundation
(herein referred to as "the parties")
The parties wish to co-operate in order to establish and maintain a hostel move-on scheme.
The parties have agreed to enter into this agreement to record their respective intentions.
The purpose of the scheme is to provide a co-ordinated route into and out of hostel and supported accommodation services in Norwich.
The parties agree as follows:
The agreed objectives are as follows:
- To reduce rough sleeping and homelessness in Norwich.
- To operate the scheme so that those in greatest need can access hostel accommodation quickly and easily.
- To provide a co-ordinated hostels system in Norwich which makes best use of its resources.
- To enable clients to move through different stages of supported accommodation to best meet their needs.
- To ensure all hostel clients who are deemed ready to move-on are able to do so quickly with the appropriate support to ensure sustainability.
The parties agree and undertake to co-operate fully with each other for the achievement of these objectives.
2. The process
2.1 Nominations arrangements
The hostel provider parties agree that all of their bed-spaces not covered by pre-existing nominations agreements will be allocated in accordance with this agreement on the following basis:
- An initial assessment of the client’s needs and potential accommodation outcomes will be considered by the parties as part of the referral process and will be ongoing. Issues such as social care needs, local connection and potential for move-on will be considered as part of the assessment.
- Following assessment, homeless and rough sleeper clients will be referred into accommodation appropriate to their needs as determined by the commissioned outreach service and/or Norwich Accommodation Meeting and/or Norwich City Council with the agreement of the provider.
- Clients can be moved between provision where it is agreed by the Norwich Accommodation Meeting and the providers.
- Individual services retain the right the refuse a referral should they deem the risk too high.
- Vacancies created by successful move-on will be discussed at the Norwich Accommodation Meeting, with a focus on optimising bed- spaces.
2.2 Move-On for hostel residents
- Applicants in supported housing/hostels who participate in the Norwich hostel move on agreement who are assessed as needing to move on as determined by a member of the Housing Options team and the Norwich Accommodation Meeting will be direct let into appropriate social housing tenancy following the required evidence and risk assessment being submitted from the current support provider. Home Options qualification criteria will apply.
- The client must have demonstrated that they are able to maintain a tenancy, for example, but not limited to, through an approved tenancy awareness course so that it is reasonably expected that any tenancy will be sustained.
- The applicant will complete a personalised housing plan with a Home Options officer. Any special housing requirements will be agreed and set out in this document.
- Applicants that meet the criteria set out above but who are subject to ‘reduced preference’ (for example because they do not have a two- year local connection) will be placed in the bronze band.
- In both instances, applicants will only receive one offer of accommodation, which they are expected to accept. If the client refuses the offer, they are able to request a review on the grounds of reasonableness and suitability. Reviews will be carried out by a review panel in accordance with Home Options policy.
2.3 The role of Norwich Accommodation Meeting
The Norwich Accommodation Meeting takes place fortnightly with representatives of each of the parties and outreach services. It is expected that each representative is able to make operational decisions on behalf of their respective organisation. In addition to the activities set out above, the Norwich Accommodation meeting will:
- Make decisions on current vacancies and share information with other hostel providers. Where required, the meeting will make decisions on moves between providers and explore the moving of clients from one provider to another to prevent eviction and abandonments.
- Discuss clients who are threatened with eviction from hostels and supported accommodation and explore ways this can be prevented
- Where appropriate, discuss current rough sleepers and their potential accommodation solutions within the hostel system.
- Discuss clients ready for move-on into social housing through Home Options and any issues affecting this.
- Monitor the efficacy of this scheme.
3.1 Term of the Agreement
- The agreement shall remain in force for the term of five years.
- The agreement will be reviewed after two years
- Should the parties wish to extend the term, this will be done by variation to this agreement three months prior to the end of term and with the agreement of the parties.
3.2 Sharing and Handling of Information
- The parties shall ensure that they and their employees observe all their obligations under General Data Protection Regulation which arise in connection with this agreement.
- Prior to the issue of any press release or making any contact with the press on any matter relating to the agreement the parties shall consult with each other, initially through the Norwich Accommodation Meeting.
Each party shall keep the other’s information confidential unless:
- The information was already lawfully known
- Disclosure or use of the information is necessary to meet the terms of this agreement;
- Disclosure is required by law (including under the Freedom of Information Act 2000) or disclosure is permitted by the Human Rights Act 1998.
- No amendment to or variation of this agreement shall take effect unless it is agreed by the parties in writing and signed by an authorised representative of each of the parties.
- A party may only terminate this agreement by giving the other parties six months’ written notice or forthwith by notice to the others if another party has committed a material breach of this agreement which is incapable of remedy.
- If this agreement is terminated the parties agree to co-operate to ensure an orderly cessation of the scheme as set out in this agreement and in particular addressing the following consequences of termination:
3.6 Complaints and Disputes Resolution
Complaints in relation to the performance, success or otherwise of this agreement shall be passed, in the first instance, to the Housing Options manager at Norwich City Council who will try and resolve them with the relevant parties.
Where resolution is not reached, the issue will be escalated to the directors of the involved services.
For and on behalf of