Housing in North Tyneside
Housing is very individual and everyone will need a different sort of accommodation. Therefore it is important that we have a lot of housing types so that people can live how they wish, whether that is sharing with a friend, living with their family, living with a group of people or being on their own. Having safe and secure housing is vital to a settled life.
Person Centred Planning and assessments is at the heart of choosing a suitable housing option, and as with everyone individual need may change over time.
The Housing Green Paper
‘Quality and Choice a decent home for all’ was published in April 2000 and the aim of this paper was to ensure a better quality and a fairer system to allow people to make real choices about their homes.
The Green Paper says that systems must be developed to support people into work and be more independent and protect people who are vulnerable.
‘In Control’ is about people getting control over their support and their lives.
‘In Control’ says people who need support should be citizens like other people.
It links with the Independent Living Funds and Direct Payments but is also about trying to change the way social care works.
This new way of organising social care is called self-directed support.
North Tyneside uses a range of housing options for people with a learning disability.
North Tyneside Homes manages the Council's operational housing services.
North Tyneside Homes manage about 15,800 tenanted homes and close to 695 homes occupied by leaseholders across the borough. Many of the homes managed are lived in by people on lower and fixed incomes, those who are elderly or vulnerable and are located in the more deprived neighbourhoods. The service has a key role in improving people's lives and the neighbourhoods they live in and closing the gap between those that have and those that have not.
North Tyneside Homes cannot do this in isolation and a key part of the strategy moving forward will be to explore and develop opportunities for more seamless working with services across the Council as well as our external partners in the private, public and voluntary sectors.
North Tyneside Homefinder is the way of allocating social housing throughout North Tyneside.
The service aims to provide more choice in deciding where customers want to live. Homes that are available for rent will be advertised on thewebsite each week.
To use the service customers must be registered on North Tyneside Homefinder. To register a customer needs to complete an application form.
Once an application is accepted, North Tyneside Homes will write to customers and advise them of their Housing Register reference number and PIN. They will then be able to make an 'expression of interest' for the homes that are advertised.
Customers are able to make an 'expression of interest' for homes from 00.01 Thursday until 23.59 on Sunday.
North Tyneside Homefinder also advertises homes that are managed by Registered Social Landlords who operate within North Tyneside.
North Tyneside Homes also have available two information booklets available:
North Tyneside Homefinder also have a support team, containing housing occupational therapists, that is available to support vulnerable customers throughout the housing process.
North Tyneside Homes – Support Services
North Tyneside Homes provide support to tenants to develop independent living and achieve settled and sustainable tenancies through a variety of means ranging from:
- Adapting you home to meet your needs
- Floating Support
- Furnished Tenancies
- Moving you to a home that better meets your needs
- Wardens Services
- Sheltered Housing
North Tyneside Homes provide support services to older people living in supported housing across the Borough, which aims to support independence and encourages to tenants to become actively involved in decision making relating to their homes and the range of support that they receive.
North Tyneside Homes are currently in the process of modernising sheltered housing across the Borough to provide desirable, high quality homes.
North Tyneside Homes – Support Gateway
North Tyneside Supporting People Team and North Tyneside Homes are currently developing a ‘Support Gateway’ which will co-oridnate the assessment and allocation of all housing related support funded by Supporting People within North Tyneside. This will include floating support and supported accommodation.
North Tyneside Homes – Furnished Tenancies
North Tyneside Homes can offer furnished homes with a range of furniture and white goods, such as a fridge and cooker. These furnished tenancies are available at an extra weekly charge.
The tenancy is taken on the understanding that the property will remain a furnished property for the whole duration of the tenancy. This means that the tenant will be required to pay for the furnished tenancy from the start of the tenancy until the tenancy ends.
These are no longer very popular with people who need accommodation, as sometimes it is hard to share with a lot of other people.
In line with Valuing People Now it is likely that we will be looking at these services, to see if they are still needed in North Tyneside. It is possible that we may still need a small number of places for people with very special needs, but Independent Supported Living is a preferred model as it gives people more rights and choices.
Self-contained homes /Independent Supported Living
Self-contained homes are available in North Tyneside, they are offered by Registered Providers, North Tyneside Council and Private Landlords.
We have good relationships with a number of Registered Providers and have developed new homes for people with learning disabilities in partnership with them and secured homes for people with individual needs.
Registered Providers have also offered us properties which they think people with a learning disability may be interested in.
This sort of housing is called Independent Supported Living or ISL.
People have a tenancy with their landlord and support and household management is usually the responsibility of the support service provider.
This sort of housing gives people more rights, choices and increased citizenship.
Extra Care Housing for Older People
This is a model of housing for older people providing self-contained flats but more scope for higher support or care needs as people get older.
Features that tend to characterise extra care housing are:
- Self-contained flats or bungalows – unlike residential care.
- Dwellings designed to facilitate independence
- Individual care packages, in your own home, to a high level
- 24-hour care staff and support
- More community facilities than in sheltered housing
- Staff offices and facilities on site
- Support with shopping, cleaning and meals
- Specialist equipment for frail or disabled residents
- Social and leisure activities/facilities
There is no reason why some older people with learning disabilities should not use mainstream older people’s housing including extra care housing.
North Tyneside’s links with Registered Providers has meant that we have been offered 4 extra care bungalows for people with a learning disability on a new extra care development in North Shields.
This is an opportunity for a family or individual to offer someone with a learning disability a placement in their home.
As is the case with the other types of housing it is important that it suites the person concerned and that they have a say in the choice.
Shared care depends on someone being happy to live with a family. It can offer the things like family activities, links with friends and neighbours. Some services also offer short-term placement or respite care.
Community support networks
These are separate flats or houses where residents arrange to live together as a community.
There are usually a handful of ordinary flats within walking distance. One flat is occupied by the community living worker, usually a part-time volunteer.
In North Tyneside we have KeyRing.
Many people with disabilities or support needs have to rely on benefits to make up their income: but, this should not stop them getting a mortgage to buy a home of their own.
Home ownership can be an attractive option for people with learning disabilities, as it provides a high degree of choice and control, with a high level of security.
Home ownership is probably more suitable for people with learning disabilities who want to live on their own, or as a couple, independently in their own house or flat.
Home Ownership Long Term Disabilities (HOLD) is a plan that allows people with disabilities to use their Income Support or Disability Living Allowance to pay a mortgage.
Shares of the property are from anything between 25% and 75% and you pay rent on the other part, which can be covered by housing benefit.
Shared ownership allows a person to buy a share of a property and pay rent on the rest. The ownership is shared with a housing association or charity. The person has a shared ownership lease from the housing provider.
The person with learning disabilities can claim Housing Benefit for the rent they have to pay to the housing association.
As long as the person with a learning disability remains entitled to Income Support, housing costs (rent and mortgage interest) should be met in full by benefits.
However, if the person starts work and has earnings at a level to lose their entitlement to Income support, they will also need to think about how they will meet their housing costs.
Nomad E5 have developed a Shared Ownership Scheme in North Tyneside and 3 other families are following up this option.
Taking over a Council Tenancy
A person with a learning disability can take over their parent’s tenancy and this is a possibility in a local authority or housing association property and should be considered when talking to people about making housing plans.
Assistive technology such as alarms, warden call systems,
Mobile telephones, smart technology, house alarms, smoke detectors are ways to help some one with a learning disability to be supported at home.
In all these options extra help and support may be needed to assist people with a learning disability get the housing they want.
Some housing associations offer easy read tenancies and booklets about their services. Nomad E5 have produced an easy read booklet about shared ownership and tenancies. NT Homes also have these booklets available.
More information is available from the Community Learning Disability Team.