The challenges facing people who live in our short-term homeless supported housing services have arguably never been greater. Rising inflation, spiralling cost-of-living, public sector funding reductions, and a shortage of affordable and secure housing options have compounded their circumstances at a time of crisis in their own lives.
Regenda Homes and a small group of housing and support providers have begun to explore the impact of this ‘perfect storm’ through an informal benchmarking project.
We found that rent and service charge arrears for those in short-term supported housing have been increasing, to varying degrees, since 2018/19.
We also found that arrears were greater in supported housing for homeless people than they are in other types of supported housing we offer, on average.
Whilst looking at performance collectively in this way was helpful, it only whetted our appetite to understand more about what impact the current national context is having on our services and residents. If we are to respond effectively and ensure our resources will have most impact, then this insight will be pivotal.
Some of the questions the research raised include:
There are other questions we need to explore too, and to get robust answers, we need as many providers to take part in benchmarking as possible.
With that in mind, we are keen to open this up to as many NHF members as are interested in taking part. By working together, we can provide greater insight and solutions for the decision-makers in our organisations and the places we serve.