How to move from residential care home accommodation to supported living accommodation

Find out how you can move into providing supported living accommodation from being a residential care home provider.

Temporary hold on responding to new proposals for accommodation

As stated in the quarterly demand of August 2023, there are several developments planned across the County in the next 2 years. This places us in a good position to meet the level of demand. There is confidence that most of these schemes will be completed between now and 2025. 

We are therefore unable to respond to any new proposals for accommodation until April 2024.

In the interim, urgent, or specific accommodation need emerging during this time is likely to be based on the needs of individuals i.e., supporting hospital discharge or residential care home closure. These needs will be communicated via the Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) in the first instance.

For further information, please see our SCIP market statement:

Should you require any clarification on the above please email scip@leics.gov.uk
 

If you're considering moving from providing a residential care home to supported living accommodation, there are several factors to consider, including your contractual obligations, deregistering your existing residential care home, and understanding the differences between residential care and supported living services. 

Here are some frequently asked questions:

I am thinking of de-registering my existing residential care home - what do I need to do first?

There are several things you need to do as you continue to meet your contractual obligations, including consultation with the current occupants. 

When considering de-registering a residential care home, you should contact the Quality and Contracts team at  enquirylinequality&contracts@leics.gov.uk . They can work with you to support the people living at the home, the staff and your plans.

All people living at the home are eligible for a community care assessment to ensure care and support is based on the persons needs in the most appropriate setting. 
Is there a difference between supported living and extra care? 

Supported living and extra care are distinctly different. 

Supported living could be a small, shared house or bungalow that is shared with three or more individuals. These properties could be purchased from the open market. However, supported living could also be a block of flats. 

Extra care are generally larger properties having 60+ flats within one scheme. The schemes are occupied by older people, however, there are some schemes within the county that also accommodate working age adults. The details for extra care are contained within the prospectus.

How can I find out where you need accommodation within Leicestershire?

We have an overview of demand for the whole of the county and produce quarterly demand information highlighting where the gaps are across the county. 
The demand for supported accommodation comes from various places - people living in the family home, leaving children’s services, moving from residential care.

At present we receive about 20 referrals for supported living a month. The demand information is split into area of the county and the support the individual requires, such as young people aged 17½ to 25, those with mental health support needs, and those with complex needs who need robust accommodation. There is also demand for wheelchair accessible accommodation and we provide specifications for the accommodation size that we would find acceptable.

How do I notify you if I have a property I think would be suitable to use for providing supported living accommodation?

You can use our online form to tell us about any proposals you have regarding new supported living accommodation. We will carry out the initial checks on the address and provide you with our feedback. 

How do I receive referrals for individuals requiring accommodation? 

The process for supported living is different to residential care homes.

Supported living is not a crisis option, whereas an individual may be placed in residential care as a matter of urgency.

Referrals for supported living are not direct unlike residential care and and a move may take several weeks or months to complete, particularly where accommodation, as well as the support service is required. 

Currently, our service requirements appear on the Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) on an individual basis. 

Support providers can apply to appear on our Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS), which is an open system and providers regularly apply to join it.

When we have an individual with support needs and/or accommodation needs we enter their details onto the DPS, and providers can bid to meet the needs of that service requirement. 

How are individuals in supported living accommodation funded? 

Individuals in supported living have occupation rights, whether it is with a license, occupation or tenancy agreement. This means the person is liable for their own housing costs. 

Adult Social Care do not pay their housing cost - the person would need to receive their full range of welfare benefits and include their housing costs as part of that. Adult Social Care pay for the person’s support costs.

The landlord of the supported living service would set the rents and service charges and they would need to be agreed by the Revenue and Benefits Team at the local council. 

Differences to the above may apply to individuals entitled to section 117 aftercare (Mental Health Act 1983). Individuals in receipt of S117 funding will be looked at on a case-by-case basis as there will be circumstances where Adult Social Care will pay rent charges. This is where the accommodation (separate from the care and support) has been commissioned to meet the S117 aftercare needs of the individual. 

Is there a need for placements for complex needs rather than semi-independent individuals? 

There is some NHS guidance relating to Building the Right Support and Building the Right Home.

When we refer to individuals with complex needs, we are referring to those people who have been in a hospital setting for a long period of time and would benefit from community based supported living.

The referral would go through the DPS in the same way as others requiring support. 

Would a 4 or 5 bedroom detached house or bungalow with shared communal area/ kitchen be suitable for supported living accommodation? 

There are a number of addresses across the county where people are living in small, shared houses or bungalows.

They do bring some challenges around how you're managing that scheme and appropriately supporting the people that live there, e.g.,

  • Is the property fit for purpose to have that number of people living there?
  • What do they have available in terms of communal areas, both inside and outside the property?

We do like to see properties that have been enhanced in some way, where you've reduced the need for sharing, particularly in the bathrooms to improve dignity and privacy for the occupants.

Shared houses can be successful with the first group of tenants that move in, but it can become difficult to introduce a new tenant when someone leaves the property in the future. This can result in voids occurring in the property. 

Would we need a permit or housing licence to convert a house into supported living? 

In relation to licensing arrangements, this is outside of our remit because we do not have housing responsibility as an upper tier authority.

Leicestershire has 7 district and borough councils, each of which are looking at their licensing arrangements for HMO’s (houses in multiple occupation). 

Our advice is to ensure that you are aware of what is in place or planned for the district or borough council responsible for the area where the actual property is located. This information is available on their respective websites. 

We would expect support providers and landlords of supported accommodation to have followed the regulatory guidance, building control and any planning permission required before the property is occupied as a scheme. 

How does staffing work and how is it incorporated in the costing? 

There is some guidance and rates that are advertised on the dynamic purchasing system (DPS) which relate to day rates and night rates. 

Each individual is assessed and based on their evidence of need this will inform the staffing required. Support must be proportionate and necessary; access to care technology is essential. 

Support hours are individually commissioned. The support plan identifies the level of support the person will require, this may be a mixture of shared support and/or 1:1 support, and if required additional support e.g. a second staff needed to support with hoisting. 

A progression model is applied within working age adults in supported living. This relates to progressing the individual to enable further independence and achieving outcomes, which will in turn reduce the level of support they will require as they settle into their new home, and then longer term.

If the individual is in a shared property, as the numbers of tenants change, the shared hours must be amended to reflect the changes