No Support Funding/CIC Provider

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  • #282735
    liffe
    Participant

    Hi All

    We have a new CIC provider which was only set up in 2023 and they have support staff (paid not volunteers) in place however they have no current support funds in place to pay them. I have asked the question a number of times and all they advise is that they will apply for grants, funding, donations in the future?

    I’m thinking how can they pay support staff a decent wage if they have no current support funds in place, however they have renovated a property to a very high standard and opened 2 new businesses along side the supported property. I’m being told that they have no funds at all but they are obviously getting investment from somewhere and their reluctance to say where is making me question it more.

    Has anyone refused exempt status on the grounds that no support funding is in place to start with?

    Thanks

    #282739
    markg
    Participant

    Visit the address(es). Ask questions.

    #282744
    Trevor Kenward
    Participant

    Id wonder where they are getting referrals from?

    #282746
    liffe
    Participant

    Thay are getting referrals from numerous 3rd party agencies across the city including police and rehab clinics. Pretty similar to other providers however our own housing department are not referring to them.

    We recently had a similar provider who set up like this in 2020 and we have just had to review and remove their exempt status as they basically expanded too quickly, ran out of money and could not afford to manage the comany or pay any support staff in the end. I’m trying to avoid this situation happening again.

    #282747
    Trevor Kenward
    Participant

    We have had similar circumstances as well.
    I have questioned referral agencies on what grounds they have referred their clients as it would seem that sometimes its purely a housing need rather than to receive relevant support.

    #282748
    liffe
    Participant

    That’s a good point, we do ask for support forms but they are completed by the provider so it would be interesting to get feedback from the referral agencies. Thanks

    #282750
    mickbullock
    Participant

    it’s not clear that CSS is required, provided and available so SEA status would not apply until this clarified. It seems extremely unlikely that the CSS is available. There is also significant doubt whether CSS is required unless you get anything from the referral agencies.

    #282756
    Andy Thurman
    Keymaster

    As markg has suggested, I would look to arrange a visit (Teams call at least). There clearly needs to be caution in accepting this as exempt but, if the support workers are genuinely employed and the referrals/other evidence confirms a care/support need, it will meet the conditions and the funding of it is a separate (if still important) matter.

    I would, however, be firm but polite in pushing for a little more detail! Support funding can be difficult to secure so there is some reasonableness in them saying they will be applying for grants etc. but you do need to ensure there are no such costs ‘hidden’ in their rent charge.(At this stage, even if they were just able to show they were exhausting overdraft/loans to pay the staff, it would give greater clarity?)

    #282758
    peterdelamothe
    Keymaster

    You cannot employ people and not pay them the minimum wage at least. It’s against the law. Hmrc publish a list regularly of offenders and owners/ directors then can become personally liable. Including penalties. Volunteers are different of course. Dubious!!

    #282760
    liffe
    Participant

    Yes agreed Andy a conversation needs to happen, to be honest overall and on paper the scheme seems genuine and looks like support is available and being provided.

    Peter – agreed I can’t seem to get past the idea that anyone would work for free in these times with the cost of living crisis alone!

    I appreciate that new schemes do not always have vast funds available to them, but I expect them to be transparent and evidence any funds they do have available but they don’t seem to want to produce anything, I’d be more than happy with a bank statement showing a loan/overdraft.

    #282761
    liffe
    Participant

    Sorry should have said no hidden costs in the rents either as I requested breakdowns of all the costs that I felt needed to be checked.

    Just to add another layer, one of the directors was involved in a private company that went into liquidation the same time this CIC provider was set up, owing millions to creditors. I suppose I’m trying to work out how you can fund complete property refurb to a very high standard, £150K staffing costs, set-up two businesses connected to the property etc with no funding whatsoever…

    Thanks to everyone for the replies, I’ll go back with more specific questions and hopefully get to the bottom of it. I’ll update if anything interesting pops up

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