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Supporting People programme

Supporting People is the government programme for funding, planning and monitoring housing related support services. Its aim is to improve the quality and effectiveness of the support services at a local level.

How the programme works

Supporting People provides housing related support to help vulnerable people to live as independently as possible in the community whether in their own homes or in hostels, sheltered housing or other specialised supported housing.

What is Supporting People?

Supporting People provides complementary support for people who may also need personal or medical care. Supporting People only funds housing support. But this can be part of a package of differently funded but co-ordinated support which meets the needs of individuals.

Supporting people is designed to help people live independently. The programme aims to help:

  • older people
  • people with learning difficulties
  • people with mental health problems
  • people with physical disabilities
  • women fleeing domestic violence
  • homeless people
  • people struggling to meet their tenancy conditions
  • people leaving institutional care
  • young care leavers

Who provides Supporting People services?

Housing support services can be provided by:

  • a landlord - for example, a housing association or the Northern Ireland Housing Executive
  • a voluntary organisation which manages accommodation - for example, a temporary hostel
  • other agencies which provide support in the home - for example, a Health and Social Services Trust

What type of support is available?

Examples of the type of support available include:

  • a warden or scheme manager
  • a community alarm service
  • general counselling and support, including befriending services
  • help to deal with claims, social security benefits and other official matters
  • advice or assistance with shopping and errands
  • parenting, cooking and household management skills training
  • assistance to engage with individuals, professionals and other bodies
  • help and assistance to manage money

How can you access housing support services?

Housing support services may be available within your own home. Your local Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE) District Offices will be able to provide information on the services available within each area.

Alternatively, if you wish to move to specialist accommodation where support is provided, you should contact your landlord or local NIHE District Office to complete a housing application or housing transfer form.

Do you have to pay for the support you receive?

If you are eligible for either full or partial Housing Benefit then you will have the cost of your housing support services paid for you. If you are in temporary accommodation - such as a homeless hostel or Foyer accommodation - the support services will also be provided free-of-charge irrespective of your income or any changes to it.

If you are not currently receiving Housing Benefit, you should consider submitting an application. Entitlement to any Housing Benefit - no matter how small - will mean that your full support costs will be paid for. Service providers should offer assistance to you if you want to apply for Housing Benefit.

How do I find out more?

Further information is available from the Northern Ireland Housing Executive.

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