Sutton Council has transferred its housing advice, homelessness, support brokerage and Shared Lives services into its first wholly-owned local authority trading company (or LATC), Encompass LATC Ltd.
The company’s name conveys its holistic approach to assisting residents to resolve their housing or support needs. Its staff will ensure that residents have access to services that support them to live the lives they want and maintain their independence.
Among the services Encompass provides are:
information, advice and undertaking casework relating to housing, tenancy rights, repairs, welfare benefits, employment, money advice and debt;
brokerage services to arrange packages of care for adults with support needs
person-centred support plans with service users to meet identified needs;
operating and developing the “Shared Lives” service, including the recruitment of carers to provide care and support to vulnerable adults within the family home;
responding to actual homelessness by assessing applications from homeless households and make decisions on that application in accordance with prevailing legislation; and
managing Sutton Council’s housing register, allocating council housing and making nominations to Registered Social Landlords.
The new company will ensure Sutton Council and the borough’s council tax payers are able to achieve the best value for money at a time of significant austerity and rapidly increasing demand by getting the most out of a reducing budget whilst maintaining support for vulnerable households.
Mary Morrissey, Strategic Director of Environment, Housing and Regeneration at Sutton Council, said:
“Encompass represents a new direction for Sutton Council in that housing advice and support services are being delivered through a local authority trading company. It will provide services to some of our most vulnerable residents.
“The company is committed to maintaining and developing the best possible services for our residents. These will include accommodation schemes for Sutton households needing housing, or who are homeless or threatened with homelessness.
“It will focus upon preventing or delaying homelessness in the borough, and putting in place the right care services for people who need help to arrange these for themselves or their family members.
“This innovative venture is the brainchild of council staff, who rose to the challenges they faced and came up with a solution to help the council save money while continuing to offer a high-quality service to residents.”
At the Encompass launch in the Sutton Holiday Inn are, from left, Lorraine Thomas, interim Managing Director of Encompass, Michael Mackie, Head of Finance, Business Data and Reporting at Sutton Council, and Simon Latham, Executive Head of Housing and Regeneration at Sutton Council