Decision details

Homeless Support Services - 16 and 17 year old provision

Decision Maker: Director of Regeneration and Place

Decision status: For Determination

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes


Under Housing Law, the Council has a statutory duty to secure suitable accommodation for an individual presenting as homeless if there is reason to believe they are homeless, eligible for assistance and in priority need. Those in priority need include young people aged 16-17.


For adults, the definition of ‘suitable accommodation’ may include emergency housing such as B&B accommodation, or temporary housing such as standard residential accommodation. However, for homeless 16- & 17-year-olds, statutory guidance states that B&B accommodation is never suitable for this cohort, and that it is not usually appropriate to place any 16- or 17-year-old in temporary accommodation that does not provide on-site support.


In March 2024, the Housing Department undertook a competitive procurement process for the delivery of a Supported Housing Service for homeless 16/17-year-olds. The contract term for this service will be for one (1) year from 11th July 2024 until 10th July 2025 with the option to extend the contract by a further two (2) years. The total identified global budget for the potential maximum 3 years of the contract will be £1,330,314.



The Director of Regeneration & Place has decided to approve the award of a one (1) year contract, with two (2) twelve-month options to extend, in relation to the delivery of a Supported Housing Service for homeless 16 & 17 year olds commencing on the 11th July and running until the 10th July 2027 (if all extension options are taken) to Forum Housing Association within the approved budget and as the highest scoring tenderer in accordance with the Most Economically Advantageous Tender criteria.



Reasons for the decision:

Supported housing assists people to develop the skills they need to live independently and forms a crucial pathway for people, preventing homelessness and promoting independence. This is central to the Council’s Corporate vision for preventing vulnerable people becoming socially excluded and isolated. The provision of housing support services in supported housing works to reduce repeat homelessness and tenancy failure, generating financial savings in these areas.


As the local housing authority, the Council has a duty to assess and accommodate if there is reason to believe an individual is homeless, eligible for assistance and in priority need. Those in priority need include young people aged 16-17, those leaving care and any young person with significant health issues that means they are vulnerable. Across all departments there is a wider corporate parenting responsibility owed to children under the age of 18.


The Council is committed to reducing homelessness for young people and care leavers in Wirral and this is outlined in the Rough Sleeping and Homelessness Strategy 2020-2025


In respect of 16- & 17-year-old people who present as homeless, the Council is statutorily obligated to ensure that that any temporary accommodation provided for this cohort is suitable and appropriate to their needs and offers the availability of on-site support. 


The current contract for the delivery of a Supported Housing Service for homeless 16- & 17-year-olds, provided by Forum Housing Association, is due to expire on the 10th July 2024.


A procurement exercise has been completed in accordance with Council Contract Procedure Rules. The tender was evaluated against a 25% contract price, 15% Social Value and 60% contract quality ratio.


The successful bidder met all the quality requirements within the allocated budget.


Alternative options considered:

Do nothing – The Council could elect not to commission a supported housing service for homeless 16- & 17-year-olds. This would, however, place the Council in breach of its statutory obligations under both Housing and Children’s Acts. The option to do nothing was therefore considered and rejected.


Extend existing contract – The extension periods available within the existing contract has been exhausted and, as such, this was not a viable option.


Publication date: 09/07/2024

Date of decision: 09/07/2024

Effective from: 13/07/2024

Accompanying Documents: