Oxfordshire County Council initiated a system change approach to ‘supported housing’ in Oxfordshire with their recent Tender.

Local mental health charity Response, who provides housing for over 200 people across the Thames Valley, has teamed up with local youth development charity Oxfordshire Youth to provide an innovative new model of support for young people in supported housing in Oxfordshire.

This contract will see Response provide 3-4 bed homes across Oxfordshire for 130 young people aged 16-25 and Oxfordshire Youth will lead on a youth sector partnership of support for these young people to live happy and healthy lives, moving into independent living. As part of a major review of the Young People’s Supported Housing Pathway in 2019, Oxfordshire County Council conducted research providing evidence that young people in supported accommodation are more likely to thrive in shared properties which house a maximum of four young people.

Co-production and engagement were key when reviewing and improving the previous system. The review was undertaken with the involvement of district and county council staff, colleagues from partner agencies and young people who have used supported housing services.

Response and Oxfordshire Youth have been chosen to lead on Oxfordshire County Council’s new redesigned service with the aim of better meeting the needs of young people now and in the future.

Vulnerable young people, or young people at risk of homelessness – which includes unaccompanied asylum seekers and care leavers – will be provided with high-quality accommodation while being supported to develop their independent living skills, find employment, education or training. They will learn to build positive relationships and links to their local communities and family members if it is safe to do so. The service is a short-term intervention for over 18 months, which includes a plan to help young people meet their long-term needs. During their tenancies, the young people will be supported by Oxfordshire County Council or Oxfordshire Youth.

A Private Landlord Scheme has been set up, offering exceptional benefits to those who meet the requirements, including the reassurance of a guaranteed income and stress-free maintenance fully taken over by Response’s team of decorators, carpenters, and other trade professionals. Applications can still be submitted.

On Friday 14th of August, a crowdfunding campaign run by Oxfordshire Kindness Wave started with the aim of raising funds for 230 Housewarming Parcels to be sent to the young people moving into their new homes on 1st of October 2020.

“It’s time to break new ground in Oxfordshire and to place young people at the heart of the service.” 

More information about the YPSA Programme can be found on the Oxfordshire County Council website.

More information about the crowdfunding campaign can be found on the Oxfordshire Kindness Wave website.