SNMA Review for the Department for Communities NI

North Harbour Consulting has just been appointed by the Department for Communities NI to undertake research into the continuing purpose of residential schemes operated by housing associations in Northern Ireland that are described as ‘housing with support’. These schemes are registered with the Registration and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) on the same basis as registered care schemes, but they are funded through a separate system known as Special Needs Management Allowance (SNMA).

The objectives of the research are to gather evidence in relation to:
i. what the criteria are for admission to SNMA funded schemes;
ii. the terms on which service users within SNMA funded schemes occupy accommodation;
iii. how needs assessments are carried out for service users in SNMA funded schemes and who by:
iv. whether SNMA funded schemes deliver services which foster independence and support independent living in the context of the SP Programme and Housing Support Services legislation;
v. the extent to which the services at (iv) are expected of other residential care homes funded by Health and Social Care Trusts through the regional residential care home tariff;
vi. the extent to which the services identified at (iv) are housing support services that could be eligible for funding under the Supporting People programme;
vii. the quantum of spend per scheme on those services identified at (vi);
viii. how each service provider measures the quality and outcomes of services identified in relation to fostering independence and supporting independent living, with a particular focus on those services identified at (vi); and,
ix. the extent to which SNMA funded services align with the policy objectives of Supporting People and would provide value for money if incorporated within the context of the Supporting People programme.