News & Stories

Press Release: Saffron's Response to Cuts in Funding for Supported Housing Services

Press Release

Saffron Response to Funding Cuts to Services for Supported Housing

In February this year, Norfolk County Council announced the cutting of funding for sheltered housing support services with effect from March 2018. This followed budget cuts imposed by central government.

In an interview in May, Catherine Guelbert-Thick, Chair of Saffron Housing, stated that innovative solutions needed to be found in response to these cuts which could impact on support services for tenants of Saffron’s Sheltered Housing Schemes.

Following the announcement of these cuts Saffron began a consultation process with their sheltered housing tenants with all 539 receiving a letter outlining how Saffron would communicate with them to ascertain their views, needs and concerns about the potential loss of support services. During the following weeks each tenant was visited by a Saffron representative, invited to give their views and to take part in a focus group. 85.5% - 407 of the 476 households - responded. Tenants expressed how much they rely on the services - in particular their alarm call provision - and that they would feel exposed and vulnerable if they were withdrawn.

Yesterday The Board of Saffron met to discuss options for this service. These options were contained in a report from the Executive, which reflected their extensive engagement with customers. The Board affirmed that Saffron was committed to ensuring continuing delivery of support for these vulnerable customers and they asked the Executive to provide proposals for a new operating model which would be financially viable and would enable the continuing provision of support, ensuring that residents receive help to continue to live independently and to feel safe in their homes.

Saffron Chair Catherine Guelbert-Thick said:

I am pleased to confirm that Saffron’s sheltered housing tenants will not lose their alarm call system - the service that tenants told us they least wished to see withdrawn. In May I said that Saffron would be looking for innovative solutions in response to the budget cuts and this will be reflected in the proposals for the new operating model for services which will be considered by the Board in the autumn. Until this has been agreed all of the services tenants currently receive will be unaffected. We thank all of those tenants who have been involved in the consultation process and whose views have helped to inform the Board’s decision.

End: issued 21st July 2017

Notes:

Saffron’s supported tenants in 14 schemes in South Norfolk:

  • over 40% of residents in these schemes aged over 80 years and with a further 36% aged between 70 -79 years.

Of the 85.5% of tenants who gave us their views:

  • 96% told us they have health issues - many of these significant,
  • 77% live alone,
  • 18% have a carer
  • 15% have no family or friends to support them

 

For further information please contact:

Rachael Trezise, Head of Communications, on 01508 532001 or 07974 716759 Or rtrezise@saffronhousing.co.uk