Getting clients for supported living accommodation

Sang Tamang 18/11/19 General Housing Topics


We have set up a supported living accommodation for young people aged between 16-25.
Everything is ready but it is really hard to approach the LA, as most of them are using the tender and there is no way we can get the tender as they asked for atleast 3 years experience . Is there any other way that we can get in touch with them and get a clients.

Thank you

Post a reply

Old forum user 19/11/19

Hi Sang,

In what way did you get in touch with your LA?

The LA have three ways of approaching them one for Tender the other through their Framework as well as registering via DPS (Dynamic Purchasing System) they are similar to the Framework but you can register at anytime.

I don't know who is your LA? Not all the LAs have the DPS.

I hope this helps.

Sang Tamang 19/11/19

Hi,our LA are greenwich and lewisham but we are open to other LA as well. I have register with different portal for tender.

Can you elaborate more about framework please. As we are newly set up, I find it difficult to get the contract through tender.

And also if you have any experience on this, will you please help us providing more information.

Thank you

Fortunate Mugwagwa 25/11/19

Hi Everyone

We are in the same situation as Sang- see above post . We registered on the portal and we were told that they are not approving companies at the moment as it’s over subscribed . We are based in West Midlands ( Staffordshire, Warrickshire, Walsall, Wolverhampton, Dudley , Birmingham , Coventry council portal ) . Now we are stuck as to how to move forward

We are in the process of applying for Sheffield Framework as they stated that they will consider out of area providers.

Is there any other way to get clients

Thank you in advance

Old forum user 29/11/19

Hi Fortunate,

If you upload a 5 star documents which meet with the Local Authorities' requirements especially if it's to service those who are Category 4 and 5 care leavers you should get through. It also depends who you are approaching from the local authorities. You should not be stuck to move forward Supported Living is up and coming the local authority only hold 7% of the care market the rest are from other organisations and the communities. Most LAs including the West Midland source out and source in referrals at all the times especially with the category 4-5 care leavers because most needs to be re-located so that they can start afresh due to various issues they've had some since childhood.

Fortunate Mugwagwa 30/11/19

Hi Sang

To get alerts on what tenders are out on framework you need to register on procontract there is one out for Sheffield and they are considering providers who are out of the area

Mohammed Zulfiqar 04/12/19

Hi all,

I am a QSW who has worked for numerous LA's over the past 12 years inc managing social workers. I set up my supported business earlier this year and can confirm that to date, have had no clients. I have extensive experience in working with children and families and this includes newborn to leaving the care system at 25. I would just like to point that it is not as simple as having a home and offering a service but way beyond that. I have applied for numerous out of borough tenders and have been approved, however alot of LA's want their YP close to home. At this time the competition is very high and the demand for placements is not as high hence the west mids portal is not accepting any new clients.

I am here to speak with anyone who wants guidance, however would like to point that you should be prepared for a long wait. There are alot of things you will need to consider such as;

* policies procedures which includes policies for children, staff and general health and safety
* Locality risk assessments
* Insurances and home regulations i.e HMO, FRA, safety within the home
* Staff recruitment ect...

I would also like to point that each LA has differing requirements and Cat1 cat2 ect.... are a west mids thing and not across the board!

Wish you all success.

Old forum user 06/12/19

Hi Mohammed,

I hope you don't mind me commenting on your post.

At this time the competition is very high and the demand for placements is not as high hence the west mids portal is not accepting any new clients.

The competition is very high because they key is to put the best care hourly rate and package forward as well as being able to work out eligible and ineligible Rent charges, Service charges etc once the 16+ reach the age of 18 years old. The price that you put forward you will need to show the LAs that you can manage all aspect of the care business and also retaining staff. Another things to beat the competitors is to be able to answer the "Placement Referrals Form" as soon as possible and understanding what are the three main LAs requirement that service providers must consider with regards to the service user's needs.

The LAs also requires service providers to be fully skilled, experienced and be very flexible with their services all these will give service providers a chance to beat the competitors and get referrals.

I hope this helps


Hi all I am trying to register my company Supported Living Accommodation on procontract but I'm stuck to answer the question about if I need any authorisation to provides the service -if anyone can help please

Khondkar Hossain 15/12/19

Hi Mohammed,

You explained the market situation as clearly as possible. It looks most of the LAs have oversubscribed providers. Long waiting in getting service users getting more common.

Nosipho Ndlovu 18/12/19

Does anyone know if there is a way of getting tenders in london area.. it seems as if most of these local authorities want providers within their areas and we are based in the London south east region

Natasha Mcnair 22/12/19

Mohammed, I think you have hit the nail on the head. I’m finding it extremely difficult to receive any referrals. I’ve registered on the placement portal and nothing, however I’m being told by Social Worker colleagues that there is a shortage of providers.

Mohammed Zulfiqar 23/12/19


No problem about commenting. Competition is very strong and I will agree with you on that. In terms of providing a high level of service, It appears that placement teams have very little or no interest in this and are more about looking after the costing. Because providers are accepting low fees and undercutting everyone, this spoils it for the companies who would provide a high level of support and services. I cannot understand, however a company can take a YP for under 500 per weekend offer the any level of support or accommodation?

From what I have learned of the past year, the only way one can become sussessful, is to have accommodation available in different parts of the UK. Should anyone be interested in working in partnership ect with me, then please let me know and we can discuss a way forward.

Hope you all have a great Christmas

Mohammed Zulfiqar

Old forum user 24/12/19

Hi Natasha,

I can assure you is not difficult to get referrals what is difficult is that service providers don't understand how to go about working out the local authority's Compliant Hourly Rate "Care Cost" it must show the Profit/Surplus amount after you've worked out cost for staffing, recruitment and training, Professional costs, premises, utilities and services that in turn shows the local authorities that you can run and maintain the business with the hourly rate summary you've put across to them. Another recurring problems service providers not grasping the Service User Profile's Pen Picture upon reading them and give their best competitive hourly rate for care, rent, service charges etc that is where most people fails whether you have been approved on the Framework or not and you must show your care sector business acumen. The LA have many pickings that's make hard competition but it can be beaten. As with many businesses you must beat your competitors to succeed.

I was told by other LAs including Luton that they spend up to three months at a time just to get rid of unfinished application on their portals, providing wrongs documents, forms not filled in according to their requirements. Many people think having Policies and procedures and furnished a property is enough to get you referrals but that is not the case hence! the shortage of providers.

Mohammed Zulfiqar 24/12/19


I disagree with what you are saying. You can only provide a breakdown of costing once the LA has agreed to place a YP with you. In terms of a pen picture, generally speaking when you respond to referrals, you will have to stipulate how you will meet the requirements, what work you will complete with the YP and how you intend to keep the YP given the risks they may have highlighted. At that stage, you give the total weekly costing (breakdown will only be needed when you are accepted to take the referral).

You state that as with all businesses you must beat your competitors, since there are so many competitors and most whom are undercutting everyone in terms of pricing, its impossible to provide a quality service and make a profit at the same time.

Each LA has a preferred providers list and most LA's are either tied in with a contract or moving to a DPS system. You cannot just approach a LA and expect them to use you as from experience, this will not happen.

Khondkar Hossain 24/12/19

Hi Mohammed,

You are right. I would like to see LAs are moving towards DPS rather than tied in contract. DPS would allow new providers to bid on new referrals on individual basis as and when the referral appears through the DPS system.

As most of the LAs maintain a Preferred Providers List, it is tough for any new provider to get referral even for Spot Contract.



Old forum user 27/12/19

Hi Khondar,

The LAs will eventually go toward using the DPS system some are already using that systems and are allowing new providers to register. Register to the DPS system is one thing but you in turn must make sure you have what the LAs expect from Service Providers.

Marie St-Mart 06/01/20

Hi Mohammed,

Happy New Year!

I meant how you provide your breakdown of costs is very important. The LA can agree to place a service user with you but it's all comes down to how you provide your care costs unless you provide a costs that is compliant with the LA you will not have a placement.


Claire Batsford 06/01/20

Hi all and Happy New Year.

Accommodation and Support is a little Chicken and Egg, which comes first. We need to understand what the LA are looking for in terms of bidding for work (costings etc), but also when working speculatively on accommodation.

Do your home work!! look at the market position statement, go to the forums meet the commissioner - then you will have an idea of what is needed.


Marie St-Mart 08/01/20

If you are providing Supported Living Service the accommodation must be ready first and be compliant. The costings is to be compliant with the LA's hourly care rate costs and also the monthly figures must meet with their expectation especially if there are several service users in the accommodation at the same time etc that's where the competitiveness comes in. There are also three different hourly rates, one is the going care rate that goes up each April and two are the LA's.

You can only do your homework if you have some knowledge of the Care Sector Market. The Market position statement only tells you what the LA's annual figures are which will show cuts they've made and the growth of service users as people are living longer. You won't be able to work out the hourly rate and monthly figures by the market position statement as the care hourly rate are commercially sensitive and competitive.


Asled Silungwe 13/01/20

Hi Marie,
Thank you for your explanation above. Would please provide a guide of the hourly rates for midlands. Thank you

Marie St-Mart 13/01/20

Hi All,

The West Midlands are talking new services. I have just registered and got through. One things has changed since the last registration I'd done is that now when you submit your registration you must submit the YP Handbook straight away and you will only get through if it's compliant with the West Midlands requirement.

Hope this helps



Hi Mohammed
My name is Amrit I'm trying to set my supported business already registered as a limited company -got insurance quote --policies and procedures for almost all areas and registered with the pro-contract to get on their list -- any guidance about how to contact LA to get the property compliant and how to register with LA as care provider
Thanks AMRIT

Natasha Mcnair 16/02/20

Hi Marie, the email below was sent to me last week by a commissioning officer from Birmingham children’s trust. It does appear that no new providers are considered at present regardless of paperwork costings etc.

Where do you want to register?

Placements portal – no new registrations are being approved although you can register however, you provider record will be put on hold due to over saturation of the market currently with this type of provision.

Register to a contract/framework – you will need to wait until this is advertised and apply through the procurement process. No tendering process is due until Jan 2021.


Esther Bingham 19/04/20

Hi Mohammed

I’m replying to your comment on 04/12/19 in regards to the last paragraph where you mention “Category 1 & 2 Hazards being a Midlands thing & not across the board”

I hold the HHSRS Qualification and inspect the condition of properties under this risk assessment system.

Under the Housing Act 2004 ALL Local Authorities are legally required to assess under the Housing Health & Safety Rating System. This includes residential housing for care/supported housing services.

Link to relevant legislation here-

Category 1 Hazards are very serious as it is likely to affect human life. These hazards trigger immediate improvement notices which must be adhered to.
I cannot stress enough how serious this type of hazard is seen in court!

Category 2 Hazards though not as serious as Cat 1, are still actionable improvements requiring attention. They are recommendations for improvement so that it’s condition doesn’t worsen & deteriorate to a Category 1 hazard.

I hope this is useful info for all who were not aware..

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