Following the Prime Minister’s welcome announcement about scrapping the LHA cap for social housing, the Government has published further details of its new proposed funding model for supported housing.
31 October 2017
In his statement today, Marcus Jones, Minister of State for Local Government has announced:
- A system that leaves funding for housing costs for long-term and sheltered housing services in the benefits system
- A ‘sheltered rent’ for sheltered and extra care housing to keep rent and service charges at an appropriate level
- A new timetable, with the system starting from 2020
- Housing costs for short-term services to be paid through local councils
- Measures to ring-fence local funding and ensure local authorities assess local need.
Full details of the proposal can be read on the Government website and the consultation will run until 23 January 2018.
We believe that these proposals do address many of the sector's concerns about long-term stability of funding for vulnerable people. We welcome the start of the new system being pushed back a year to 2020.
While the Government has provided assurances that automatic entitlement will remain in place for people in short-term services, we will be considering the implications of a system where housing costs are paid through a local authority grant. The Government’s intent is to ensure the payment of housing costs is secure for users of these short-term services. However, this is a major change, and we need to be confident the system works as smoothly and effectively as possible, and users and providers are not disadvantaged in any way.
We will be engaging with members on the full detail of these proposals over the coming months, to feed into our response to the consultation on behalf of the sector. We will be hosting events around the country as well as discussing the proposals at upcoming Chief Executive Forums and regional interest groups. Full details will be available soon.
While there is still much work to be done, the Government’s statement presents a positive way forward for the sector and shows that the Government has listened to our concerns about the consequences of taking benefit entitlement away from a large number of supported and sheltered housing tenants. Today’s announcement is testament to the hard work and collective power of the sector working together and building positive relationships.