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Tenants Welcome Programme

The Tenant Welcome Programme uses home improvement to work intensively with vulnerable new tenants to increase their sense of pride in and ownership of their home and the neighbourhood.

This pilot service, supported by Wider Role funding, started in December 2006 and will run until March 2008 in the first instance. We are currently in discussions with South Ayrshire Council with a view to them purchasing the programme for their tenants and are also taking forward discussions with a number of Ayrshire housing associations with a view to piloting the programme for their tenants.

What will the Tenants Welcome Programme achieve?

The Tenants Welcome Programme seeks to improve the sense of ownership of, and pride in their home among the most vulnerable and problematic tenants with the aim of improving their quality of life and life chances and the quality of life of the wider neighbourhood.

In more detail the objectives of the programme are to:

  • Prevent tenancy failure and homelessness
  • Increase sense of pride and ownership of home
  • Increase confidence and motivation
  • Improve budgeting and coping skills
  • Improve interaction with neighbours and the wider community
  • Increase the likeliness of moving into further education, training, employment or volunteering

Who will benefit from the Tenants Welcome Programme?

The programme has been designed to benefit those most in need with priority being given to:

  • New tenants who have come through the homeless system or have been looked after or cared for
  • Young tenants (16-25 years) in their first tenancy
  • Other new tenants identified as being at risk of homelessness due to previous housing history, poor coping skills, mental or physical ill health, problematic drug or alcohol use and lack of family or peer support network

How are referrals made?

Referrals are taken from a range of sources as follows:

  • All agencies providing Housing Support to tenants in mainstream housing, including Ayrshire Initiatives, Blue Triangle, Bellhaven, Richmond Fellowship, Barnardos and Ayrshire Association for Mental Health
  • South Ayrshire Council Area Housing Teams, Homeless Team, Throughcare Team and Social Work;
  • Other social landlords operating in the area, particularly Ayrshire Housing.

Referrals can be made at any time with participants moving through the programme at a suitable pace.

What support will be provided through the Tenants Welcome Programme?

The Tenants Welcome Programme works with vulnerable tenants to assist them to improve part of their house. Awareness raising work will be undertaken with all referral sources to ensure that the most appropriate referrals are received.

Once a referral is received the Programme Officer meets with the tenant (along with the support worker or housing officer where appropriate) to discuss the programme and what would be involved. Where the tenant decides to participate a further meeting takes place to establish their goals and needs, and from this develop an agreed Personal Action Plan. This Personal Action Plan sets out what they want to achieve, what needs to be done and the timescales for key tasks. This forms the basis of their participation in the programme.

The actual project to be undertaken is agreed with the participant but could include:

  • Decorating an entire room;
  • Making soft furnishings e.g. curtains or blinds for more than one room;
  • Renovating second hand furniture.

The key elements of the Tenants Welcome Programme are:

Home visits by the Programme Officer to assist in designing their project, identifying materials and the budget required, preparation works and actual decorating or other works. This support focuses on practical transfer of skills and motivation. Programme staff do not undertake the decorating work themselves but will assist and demonstrate. It is envisaged that each participant will receive around 40 hours of one-to-one support.

Shopping trips with programme staff and other participants to identify and buy tools and materials. There is a shopping budget of 80 to 100 for each participant which programme staff hold. This is used to incentivise participants and assist them to move forward in their plans. They will also be encouraged to contribute to the project themselves.

Workshops at Ayr College for participants to improve their knowledge and skills in areas such as basic electrics, plumbing, joinery and painting. These workshops run monthly and involve 8 to 10 participants at each along with programme staff to assist.

Review of progress against the Personal Action Plan on a monthly basis to ensure that participants stay on track, or that goals and tasks are revised as required.

Moving On: Participants are also encouraged to consider future projects and progression opportunities such as education, training and employment. Where appropriate they are referred to our Home Learn Link service.

Participants tend to be involved in the programme for around six months and work at their own pace. During this period each participant will receive approximately 40 hours one-to-one support in addition to three or four shopping trips and attendance at 6 workshops. The engagement with participants is tailored to promote independence by reducing the level of input from project staff after the first three months involvement and by working with participants on ideas for their next project towards the end of their involvement.

 
 

For more information on our Housing Support service please contact:

 
   

Gary Meek

Services Manager

01292 670674

garymeek@ayrshireinitiatives.co.uk

 

Louise Christie

Director

01292 670674

ilouisechristie@ayrshireinitiatives.co.uk

 
         

 

Send mail to info@ayrshireinitiatives.co.uk with questions or comments about this web site.
Last modified: 10-Jan-2009