Update on the future funding of supported housing

We’re working want to ensure that the final policy on funding for supported housing will provide security for existing schemes and future developments.

14 February 2018

We recently submitted our response to the Government’s consultations on the funding for housing costs on sheltered and extra care accommodation and short-term supported accommodation. We are now continuing to work closely with our members and the Government to ensure the final policy reflects our priorities of securing new supply and protecting existing schemes.

In the Funding Supported Housing: Policy Statement and Consultation published in October 2017, the Government also set out some very broad expectations for long-term supported housing. Long-term supported housing is defined as services that 'support health and adult social care provision by helping those with disabilities, mental ill health, or with other long-term needs to lead independent lives by keeping them out of acute health settings and residential care, or smoothing their discharge from hospital.'

While we do not know when the Government will be formally consulting on the funding model for long-term supported housing services, it has set out two main drivers that will inform any proposals:

  • provide support which keeps people independent, offers a real alternative to residential care, and enables efficient use of stock
  • provide transparency in reporting against delivery.

The Government has committed to working with the sector to develop and deliver arrangements that ensure greater cost control and value for money across the sector, while driving up outcomes for vulnerable people. It has also confirmed that housing costs for long-term supported housing will continue be funded through the benefit system.

To help shape the proposals for long-term supported housing, we would like to put forward practical solutions for achieving greater cost control and value for money, while improving outcomes and ensuring supply meets current and future need. It is important therefore that we understand the challenges in doing this, given the diversity in provision and providers. 

Together with our members, we want to design a system that works for housing associations, and recognise the Government priority, which we share, of transparency in reporting. We will work with our relevant member groups in the first instance, including regional interest groups, our supported housing task and finish group, and our health and housing national group. Over the coming months we will ensure that all members have the chance to share their views on this, and will set out our initial thinking to inform that conversation. 

We will also be responding to the CLG Select Committee on the future of social care. This will give us the opportunity to reiterate the importance and critical role of supported housing to a wide political audience, share our views on the future funding of housing costs, and make the case for housing as integral to meeting future social care needs.