ForViva awarded contract to deliver homeless support services in Cheshire West
ForViva has been appointed by Cheshire West and Chester Council to deliver homeless support services across the borough over the next nine years.
The Council’s Cabinet has agreed to approve proposals from ForViva which will provide one integrated homelessness and support service to the most vulnerable people in the area.
The news comes following an extensive consultation by Cheshire West and Chester Council over 18 months with residents, businesses, people who have experienced homelessness, service providers and the voluntary and community sectors.
In July this year ForViva was awarded a 10-year contract to manage 5,500 Council-owned homes in Ellesmere Port and Neston, under the brand ForHousing
Set to launch in April 2018, ForViva’s homeless and support service will improve access to both temporary and permanent accommodation, provide more emergency beds for people who find themselves sleeping rough, and support people to help prevent them from becoming homeless.
ForViva will continue to engage with stakeholders ahead of the contract getting underway to ensure service meets the needs of those affected by homelessness.
Preventing homelessness will be central to the new service with hubs across Cheshire West offering advice, information and training to help support people at risk of losing their home. An outreach service, a Rough Sleeper Hotline, a new web portal for service users and a respite and medical facility for those people who need clinical support will also be provided.
Mediation services will support young people to find a way of remaining with their families instead of ending up homeless.
As well as direct support to access housing, the service will have a focus on empowering people to address factors that led to them becoming homeless and building their resilience to face future challenges. There will be strong emphasis on improving health and wellbeing and supporting people into employment.
Colette McKune, Deputy Chief Executive at ForViva, said: “We are committed to supporting vulnerable people to have a safe and secure home and to gain the skills to build a brighter future for themselves.
“Our goal is to improve people’s lives and to work in partnership with the council to help Cheshire West to thrive.”
ForViva, which owns and manages more than 24,000 homes across the North West, has already helped hundreds of people at risk of homelessness sustain their tenancies and transform their circumstances through its tenancy support services.
The group currently offers vital advice and guidance to families in Knowsley and Salford at risk of homelessness, enabling them to overcome issues, build financial confidence and stability for the future.
Cabinet Member for Housing, Councillor Angela Claydon (Cheshire West and Chester Council) said: “We are committed to reducing homelessness across the borough and tackling the root causes. This new partnership with ForViva aims to do both.
“ForViva has been appointed following a robust selection process and thorough consultation. The new contract will join up four existing contracts into one cohesive service that is easy for people to access and there will be a seamless transition for service users.
“As we face new challenges with the roll-out of Universal Credit and the forthcoming Homelessness Reduction Act in April next year, this innovative new service will help us to manage these.”