Supported Housing: Understanding need and supply

This report highlights the growing shortfall in supported housing places, examines the causes, and highlights potential solutions. It is informed by research produced for the National Housing Federation by Sitra.

9 December 2015

Supported housing improves vulnerable people’s health and independence and helps ease the pressure on the NHS and care services. It provides invaluable support for people with disabilities, homeless people, older people, people with mental health problems, people fleeing domestic violence and many others. Despite the many benefits of supported housing it is facing a growing crisis to which reduced revenue funding, challenging commissioning and partnering structures, and the wider housing crisis all contribute.

Our report, informed by research produced for the National Housing Federation by Sitra, highlights the shortfall in available supported housing places, and sets out the challenges and opportunities facing the sector. Findings include:

  • the need for supported housing for people of working age is 125,196 lettings during 2015/16
  • it is estimated that there are 109,556 available places in supported housing for those of working age in 2015/16, amounting to a shortfall of 15,640 - over 14% of existing supply
  • if current trends continue, the annual shortfall will grow to 29,053 by 2019/20 and 46,771 by 2024/25.

To tackle the shortfall in supported housing provision and ensure that people can access the services they need, our report proposes the Government should:

  • exclude housing for vulnerable people from reductions in social rents and from any Housing Benefit caps
  • establish a new framework for preventative support services
  • support integration via an NHS transformation fund
  • continue Department of Health investment in supported housing
  • release NHS land for housing

Download the full report