We’re launching a consultation paper seeking your views to help us shape our recommendations to the Government on what the key features of a future funding system for supported housing should be.
Alistair Smyth is Head of Policy at the National Housing Federation
18 May 2016
The homes and services provided by supported housing are a crucial lifeline. They are often the last line of defence for people who would otherwise fall into homelessness or dependence on more acute and costly services than they might need. To help shape the future funding of supported housing we need your responses to our consultation by 16 June (update: please note this consultation has now closed).
The announcement at the spending review of the Government's plan to cap housing benefit for social housing to the relevant Local Housing Allowance (LHA) level has dramatically increased the urgency with which a new approach to funding supported housing must be found. The cap, if implemented, would put 40% of current supported housing at risk of closure, and 80% of new supported housing would not be built.
Our task is to recommend the parameters of an alternative approach to funding supported housing that removes the threat of a crude LHA cap.
Supported housing exists to ensure those with support needs can lead a healthy and fulfilling life within their own home and community. In its earliest form it can be traced back to the almshouse. It is now is a diverse sector providing housing and support services to a wide range of people.
Those services include:
- enabling older people to maintain their independence
- providing emergency refuge to victims of domestic violence
- enabling homeless people to transition to a settled home
- helping those with mental health needs or learning disabilities to live more independently
- supporting ex-servicemen and women to find a stable home.
Today we’re launching a consultation paper seeking your views to help us shape our recommendations to the government on what the key features of a future funding system should be.
To inform our consultation paper and approach we have already held around 30 one to one conversations with members and held two meetings with our member task and finish group. We've been holding regular meetings with different parts of government and we've talked to a number of key organisations.
In addition to the consultation paper we are holding a number of events over the next six weeks. This includes nine member engagement sessions (which you can sign up to attend here).
Whatever funding system the government adopts, it must give confidence to providers of supported housing over the long term, and reassurance to those that require support that it will always be there when they need it.
A 2010 study showed the net gain to the public purse for each person living in supported housing was £940 per year. Supported housing improves lives, creates opportunities and ultimately saves money for the taxpayer by keeping people out of costly acute services or more expensive types of housing such as residential care.
Help us shape the future of supported housing by responding to our consultation by 16 June (update: please note this consultation has now closed).