The Housing Transitions Service
The Housing Transitions Service is in continuous development, striving to provide a fully strength based and personalised housing offer.
Mayday prides itself on admitting when things aren’t working, so following the completion of Wisdom from Behind Closed Doors, which captured the voices of people living in supported housing, sleeping rough and sofa-surfing, the Mayday team took on the challenge to transform the accommodation offer that is provided.
What does a person-led housing model look like?
In addition to supported accommodation Mayday offers people experiencing tough times support through the Personal Transitions Service (PTS), which is totally separate to the accommodation.
Splitting support and accommodation resolves two issues faced by the people we work alongside. The first, allowing people to form trusting and open relationships with their PTS Coach, rather than one which is impeded by evictions and talk of rent arrears. Secondly, something which was identified in Wisdom from Behind Closed Doors, by having flexible support people can continue to work with a PTS Coach after they have moved out of supported accommodation and the individual can also tailor the support offered by a Coach to work for their situation and circumstances.
We continue to respond to what people told us in Wisdom from Behind Closed Doors and transform to a strength-based and person-led culture. The team are now working hard on the following five areas:
Who Mayday employs, how these teams are recruited, trained and receive on-going support is all being turned upside down. Person-led support gives team members much more autonomy to work with people, but with this demands an increased responsibility to manage the duty of care.
Mayday is moving from larger schemes of accommodation to individual flats and smaller houses where possible. This transformation has already begun in Northamptonshire. Large blocks of housing and hostels can leave people vulnerable to being targeted by criminal gangs or may become institutionalised, trapped in a culture of dependency.
‘It was like being inside, my meals cooked, bills paid, I didn’t have to think about anything’
Inside the properties, Mayday is adopting the WILT (Would I Live There) standard, going beyond the legal and health and safety requirements.
People told Mayday how bureaucratic and dehumanising processes can be when you become homeless or are in need of housing. In response teams are now working hard to review all policies, procedures and processes. Ensuring that people are shown respect and dignity is key.
The language Mayday uses plays a central role in strength-based work. There are no labels, there is no ‘them and us’, there are just people working with other people. The right language is important to embed dignity in what Mayday does as well as ensure that the team addresses the power imbalance Mayday holds as a landlord as much as possible.
Mayday currently offers supported accommodation in Northamptonshire, Oxford and Westminster.