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DATE POSTED: 14/08/2013

The Trust's "Group Homes"

The Trust's 13 Group Homes provide 47 beds generally used as "move-on" beds from Bishopbridge House. Eleven of these houses are leased from Norwich City Council; one is leased from Broadland Housing Association; and one is owned by the Trust. The implementation of the Norwich Choice-Based Lettings Scheme (known as Home Options) in the autumn of 2007 has gradually resulted in a speedier, more transparent allocation system of social housing tenancies for applicants in Norwich, including residents of our Group Homes. Eligible applicants for social housing are allowed to bid (typically on-line) for any vacant properties owned by Norwich City Council and the various housing associations that own social housing stock in city - instead of waiting for tenancies to be offered to them. Applicants from the Trust for social housing tenancies therefore feel more in control of their application process. Another benefit is that the average length of stay in one of the Trust's group homes has declined - although stays for some people in excess of two years are not uncommon.

However, a significant new barrier to moving people from Group Homes into an independent social housing tenancy has been the introduction of the so-called “bedroom tax” on 1 April 2013.  This has increased the demand for one-bedroomed accommodation whilst the supply has stayed the same.

39 people left their tenancy in one of the Trust’s Group Homes 1 April 2012 – 31 March 2013 (48 in 2011/12). Of these departures 21 had lived in the Trust’s Group Homes for less than 12 months (31 in 2011/12).   29 (75%) of the departures were planned (37 or 77% in 2011/12).  Most of the planned departures were via “Home Options” into a social housing tenancy.

During the period under review the Trust has continued to invest in the maintenance and decor of several Group Homes in order to improve the standard of accommodation for tenants. This has included the refurbishment of several kitchens and bathrooms and the installation of energy-efficient boilers by our in-house operatives.

Click here for the full 2012/13 Annual Report of the Trust

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