New housing support service for people with mental health needs

A new housing support service for people with mental health needs in the city has been developed.

The service is set to go live from April 2013 with the process of referrals being much simpler with one single point of access through a new Community Links Hub.

The new service will support people to:

- obtain and manage safe and stable housing and resolve housing problems

- take up training, employment and volunteering opportunities

- develop support networks, through befriending and peer support to overcome isolation and feel more involved.

Following a tender exercise, a new contract is being awarded to a local consortium of voluntary sector organisations who have a track record of providing good quality housing support services for people in Leeds. The consortium is led by Community Links in partnership with Touchstone; Leeds MIND, Leeds Irish Health and Homes, St Anne’s and Leeds Federated Housing Association.

Councillor Peter Gruen, Leeds City Council executive board member with responsibility for neighbourhoods, planning and support services said:

“The new service has a strong focus on helping people to recover and live independently. It will provide high quality housing related support to improve the health and well-being of individuals and will play a key role in helping people settle back in the community after a period in hospital.

“We undertook a full review of all the housing support services the council commissions for people with mental health needs across the city and have consulted widely with service users and partners to ensure we provide a new service that will work well for all parties.”

Jon Woolmore, Community Links chief executive said:

“We are delighted to be able to continue to provide support to service users with mental health needs across the city. Community Links will run the service through a consortium arrangement with 5 other well established, Leeds based charities/not-for-profit agencies. The improved service will see better access alongside a real focus on increasing people’s confidence and independence through volunteering, education and employment.”

Paul Frazer a service user representative on the project group said:

“I feel confident that the new city wide support service will help make it easier for people to access the service. It was great to be involved in the work that was undertaken by the council in getting this new service.”


For media enquiries, please contact;

Cat Milburn, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 247 4450

Email: Catherine.milburn@leeds.gov.uk