This section lists each criterion for Capital Funding in the form of the certification which will be required.
Eligibility for Capital Funding - Introduction
This Section contains - the eligibility criteria which schemes are required to meet in order to be capitally funded under the Supported Housing procedures. Associations will be required to certify compliance with the eligibility criteria at approval stage. The following guidance lists each criterion in the form of the certification which will be required. Following each certification is an explanation of its meaning and the requirement it makes under the heading of 'Interpretation'.
Where the criterion includes a reference - to sections of the Guide the Association should refer to these for further details prior to making the certification.
Compliance with the Supported Housing Eligibility Criteria - will be verified by the Department Regulation and Inspection Staff.
The Eligibility Criteria
Certification 1 – the scheme is not ineligible for hag and supporting people funding
Listed below are schemes not eligible for grant:
Schemes whose primary purpose is to provide “care” rather than “housing” for tenants, e.g.
a. Nursing Homes
The meaning of ‘nursing home’ is defined in Section 10 of the Nursing Homes and Nursing Agencies Act (Northern Ireland) 1971 as follows:
i. any premises used, or intended to be used, for the reception of, and the provision of nursing for, persons suffering from any sickness, injury or infirmity;
ii. any maternity home; and
iii. any premises not falling within paragraph i or ii which are used, or intended to be used, for the provision of treatment by a specifically controlled technique.
[Note: It is important that an Association wishing to develop a scheme for mothers and babies distinguishes between a home whose primary purpose is to provide health care during pre/post-natal periods, and a scheme for mothers and their babies and/or expectant mothers (with or without midwife services) where the prime purpose is to provide housing accommodation after the recovery from childbirth and is therefore eligible for grant.]
b. Medical Care
Schemes in which staff are employed to provide medical treatment, or accommodation is being provided solely or primarily to enable medical treatment to be administered, e.g., drug or alcohol treatment centres staffed by doctors.
Schemes whose aim is to fulfil a statutory duty other than under housing legislation, e.g.
c. Children’s Homes
A scheme intended for children under 16, e.g. it is a voluntary home within the meaning of Section 126 of the Children and Young Persons Act (Northern Ireland) Act 1968.
Exception: Young people in care - schemes accommodating young people of 16 and over who are still in the care of a Health and Social Services Board will be eligible for grant, (despite being subject to registration under Section 127 of the Children and Young Persons Act (Northern Ireland) Act 1968) as long as the Health and Social Services Board agrees, without qualification, that after an assessment period of a clearly defined length, it will either seek revocation of the court order or make alternative arrangements for the accommodation of the resident.
Schemes which do not provide residents with a permanent home or the life skills and confidence to move into permanent accommodation, e.g.
d. Temporary Stay Projects
A scheme intended for residents who have another fixed abode while occupying the project, e.g., respite homes for mentally handicapped people. (Where specific respite accommodation is funded from a source other than HAG the Department has no objection to this being incorporated within an otherwise HAG funded scheme. In addition the Department would have no objection to occasional "respite" lettings in HAG funded special needs accommodation where this is used to reduce the void losses caused by normal turnover).
- people who leave their home to escape harassment or violence will not be regarded as having a permanent home elsewhere;
- any “occasional ‘respite’” lettings must not exceed 6 weeks. Failure to comply is a relevant event under The Housing Association Grant for Eligible Housing Activities General (Northern Ireland) Determination 1992. Grant relating to the property will be recovered in full when a relevant event occurs except when Para’s 28 to 37 of the Determination apply.]
e.Direct Access Projects
The purpose of this scheme is to provide emergency or short stay accommodation.
Exception: direct access or nightshelter accommodation is not eligible but a scheme will be eligible if it meets all of the following conditions:
- provides residents with a home where they can equip themselves with the skills and confidence to move on to permanent accommodation;
- sets out weekly charges on a licence agreement; and
- provides all meals or access to facilities to cook meals
f. Women's Refuge Projects
A refuge for women who have been subjected to domestic violence seeking direct access emergency accommodation.
Exception: A scheme which includes the provision of accommodation for women who have been subjected to domestic violence will be eligible for grant provided that the primary purpose of the scheme is to provide the residents with support and assist them to move on to permanent accommodation.
g. Student Accommodation
The sole purpose of the scheme is to house students occupied in full-time study.
Certification 2 – The Scheme Provides For Tenants With Who Require Intensive Housing Management
The following list provides examples of people who may require supported housing and is not meant to be exhaustive:
- people with a learning disability;
- people with mental health related problems;
- people with a physical disability (including degenerative and debilitating illness);
- vulnerable women with or without children;
- people of working age with other special needs;
- people with drug or alcohol related problems;
- people leaving penal establishments, referred by the probation service, or at risk of offending;
- people with AIDS or HIV disease;
- young people at risk or leaving care;
- single homeless;
- people in foyers;
- elderly – housing with care (CAT3);
Due to a reluctance to label tenants who have complex needs some schemes may have an identified client group of single homeless people. If such schemes meet the eligibility criteria and house tenants who require intensive and supportive housing management they will qualify for Supported Housing funding.
Certification 3 – the scheme provides tenants with the rights specified in the dsd management and operational requirements
- tenants have rights of access at all times to their accommodation and any communal areas and appropriate cooking facilities, except access to catering kitchens in registered homes which is not permitted by food hygiene regulations;
- reasonable opportunities are provided for tenants to personalise their rooms with their own furniture and belongings;
- tenants have a right to a room of their own, i.e. no involuntary sharing;
- tenants should pay a rent or charge from their own income, which may include benefits
Certification 4 – staff are available to carry out the activities listed in the dsd management and operational requirements
Staff are available to carry out the following activities:
- provide general advice and assistance on how to claim benefit;
- clear rent arrears policy and procedures;
- assistance with the provision of aids and adaptations where required;
- opportunities for tenant consultation;
- clear explanations to tenants of the terms and conditions of the tenancy/licence agreement and security of tenure within it;
- comprehensive housing advice where required;
- the necessary efforts and arrangements to secure move-on accommodation, where required;
- preparatory advice and information to tenants moving on to enable successful resettlement;
- responding to the changing needs of tenants by arranging additional support services where necessary
Certification 5 – the long-term viability of the scheme has been assessed and found to be satisfactory
- before making a submission for capital approval the Association must carry out an assessment of the scheme's long-term viability. It should only continue with the submission where the results of this assessment are satisfactory;
- where a scheme intends to address the care needs of tenants the Association must ensure that the assessment includes the identification and confirmation, where possible, of a source of funds sufficient to cover care costs.
Certification 6 – the scheme will comply with the dsd design requirements
The Department Design Requirements are listed at Part 3 of the Guide.
Non Supported Housing Units
Schemes involving a mix of supported housing and general needs units will only receive supported housing capital funding on units or bedspaces which fit the eligibility criteria and will be used for supported housing purposes.
Schemes which include accommodation for staff employed in relation to supported housing units or bedspaces will receive capital funding under the Supported Housing Procedures for the staff accommodation.