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Stockport Homes Group, Ministry of Justice secure repeat funding for award-winning

Stockport Homes Group, Ministry of Justice secure repeat funding for award-winning ‘whole systems approach’ ex-prisoner accommodation scheme after successful first year

Stockport Homes Group and the Ministry of Justice partnered to support ex-offenders

A third of people leaving prison report having no where to stay, according to the No Fixed Abode report

Stockport Homes Group and the Ministry of Justice’s approach secures more funding

‘With no family or friends to turn to, I was really worried if I was going to make it on the outside, however Stockport Homes did everything to help me settle into the property, supporting me to sort out my income and providing practical help with clothing and food. … I am so grateful.’

In July 2021, the Offender Outreach Team at Stockport Homes Group began delivering the Community Accommodation Service Tier 3 (CAS3) to offenders in Greater Manchester in collaboration with the Ministry of Justice.

Government-backed funding to buy properties which are then brought into the social housing stock, was given to five vanguards across the nation. Four of the schemes have been privatised but GMCA and Justice Evolution opted to go the local authority route and contacted Stockport Homes Group for support. As a result, the scheme has seen unprecedented success, netting the Ministry of Justice a Permanent Secretary Award.

Stockport Homes offers offenders more than 84 days of accommodation as well as homeless support services that provide each participant with a holistic approach to a fresh start to break the cycle of repeat offending.

With six properties on board, Stockport Homes can work with up to 13 offenders to provide a wraparound approach that ensures each participant has access to essential services. Stockport Homes also provides tenancy-ready support such as assisting with property viewing, liaising with landlords and supporting with deposits and paperwork as well as diversionary activities such as gym passes and trips to football matches.

Another scheme participant had this to say about his experience with accommodation at Stockport Homes:

‘Working with Stockport Homes has changed my life beyond recognition. I am now in full-time employment and have my own tenancy where my little boy can come and stay with me. Everything has worked out perfectly. Az helped me to secure the perfect size property in the right location for transport to work and is still in regular contact to check everything is going well. He’s supported me to retain employment and feel better about where my life is going.’

Jenny Osbourne (she/her) the Chair of the Board at Stockport Homes Group said:

‘It is so rewarding to be involved in this pilot scheme and to see the overwhelming positive impact this Community Accommodation Service scheme is having in the lives of the participants. We are committed to helping these offenders transform their lives and are looking forward to the continued collaborative effort with the Ministry of Justice. Our commitment to our community extends to support people leaving prison with the tools they need to break the cycle of repeat offending. From supporting people to register with a GP to helping them find long-term accommodation and every milestone in between, we are proud of our involvement and their achievements.’

Stockport Homes Group and the Ministry of Justice have recently been awarded extra funding to run the programme for at least three years. Due to the success of this scheme, plans are also underway to roll out CAS3 to more regions.