BARNSLEY Council’s ruling cabinet members have supported a project to provide housing for people with vulnerable needs.

A funding package of £750,000 will go towards housing to replace the capacity lost when Holden House - a former hostel on Race Street - closed at the end of January.

It was a 42-unit complex, and the council took an opportunity at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday to consider an alternative model to support the most vulnerable adults in the borough.

The new model is very different from Holden House and is focused on providing housing with support in the community, compared to a large hostel.

The requested funding will be used to purchase housing, especially for this purpose, and the service will support most of its users in their own homes through a community integration team.

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Coun Jenny Platts, cabinet spokesperson, said: “It's important that we continue to deliver the right support for vulnerable people in our borough.

“The new model aims to deliver a service to give long term results to those with multiple needs. The requested funding will help to deliver this new model which will help people to be healthier, happier and more independent.”

Coun Alan Gardiner expressed ‘serious concerns’ with the long-term situation as to where people will be housed.

“It’s the dissemination process I’m worried about because historically vulnerable people have been re-housed in let’s say not the most prestigious areas.

“It’s happened before and we need to be very, very careful where these people are placed.”

According to bosses behind the scheme, the council is working with local councillors and the police to ensure the process is not done in areas identified as hotspots for crime and antisocial behaviour.

A cabinet report said: “In 2016 the service was tendered out and awarded to West Yorkshire CRC (WYCRC). “The service was for vulnerable adults aged 25-plus who presented with multiple and complex needs. WYCRC was the primary contract holder with sub-contracts with two companies, Foundation and Touchstone.

“Since inception the council and WYRCR experienced a number of difficulties with the service. In early 2018 WYCRC, as the prime contract holder, approached the council to say that the difficulties were proving too much of a challenge to overcome.

“These included antisocial behaviour, with increased numbers of people turning up at Holden House to commit offences even though they were non-residents, and running a significant deficit of around £50,000 per annum.

“Commissioners spent several months in early 2018 trying to support WYCRC through a resolution and remedial action plan. However this was unsuccessful and resulted in a no-fault termination notice being served in July 2018."