Dacorum’s supported housing service for the over-60s is the first in the country to be rated outstanding.
The Centre for Housing Support (CHS) gave the borough the highest possible award for the service – three stars, praising its ‘excellent standards’.
Director Christine Walker said: “We are delighted to award three Stars to Dacorum Borough Council; it demonstrates the real quality their service delivers.
“They now have tangible evidence that they deliver significant and positive outcomes for people who use their service.”
The supporting housing schemes – provided by the council – give aging people somewhere live independently while having support close at hand.
Portfolio holder for housing Margaret Griffiths said: “We are really proud of our supported housing service and are always looking to improve.
“This accreditation has highlighted where we are getting it right for our tenants who want to live an independent life, with the assurance that support is available when they need it.”
Dacorum Borough Council has 31 supported housing schemes across the borough. Each scheme has a supported housing officer who runs the scheme and looks after the residents’ well-being.
The council’s supported housing service was assessed by the CHS against seven key areas in October last year and then again this month.
These included external verifiers visiting and speaking to tenants, who praised the service with comments like: “I love where I live” and: “Everyone has been so helpful.”
The accreditation criteria used by CHS was:
1. Principles and governance: ensuring you manage the service in the best way possible.
2. Equal and respectful: how you ensure your customers are treated equally and with respect.
3. Effective and personalised: how you tailor services to meet customer’s individual needs and wants in a way that puts them in the driving seat.
4. Respected and involved: how you make sure your customers can participate in decision making about the service however, and whenever they wish.
5. Complimentary and coordinated services: how each service works with other agencies to make sure that it meets your customer’s needs without unnecessary duplication.
6. Value for money and effective use of resources: how you ensure you are receiving good value for money.
7. Customer safety: how you keep your customers safe from abuse, whilst encouraging them to take sensible risks.
Hemel Hempstead MP Mike Penning has congratulated Dacorum Borough Council’s supported housing service on being the first in the country to gain three stars for Service Excellence Standards from the Centre for Housing Support (CHS).
Mike said: “I am delighted that Dacorum’s supported housing service has gained the three stars accreditation – and become the first in the country to do so.
“I have visited many residents in the council’s supported housing schemes and have heard first-hand about the excellent help and support provided by the staff.
“Supported housing is great for people who want independence but need reassurance that there is help available should they need it from time to time.”