We are deeply disappointed by the government’s decision to dramatically scale back funding to bring together social care and supported housing.
Today’s announcements are a clear step away from the ambitions set out in the social care reform white paper which saw the government recognise the importance of supported housing as an alternative housing option for people who need care and commit to a strategic approach to supporting this vital provision.
Supported housing is critical to reducing homelessness and relieving pressures on the social care, health and criminal justice sectors. The decision to renege on the £300m Strategic Housing Fund that was promised represents a missed opportunity to integrate supported housing with local health and social care services and further improve resident health and wellbeing. Over the next decade, 125,000 more people are going to need supported housing. The Strategic Housing Fund would have been a positive starting point in ensuring that each and every one of these people would have the support, access and care they need at home.
Every decision about care should be a decision about housing. Housing associations provide nearly 75% of all supported housing and are ready to work with the government to provide much needed new homes and services. In a time of huge financial pressures, supported housing needs greater security of funding and a long term plan to support even more ‘hard to reach’ individuals. We will work the government to ensure that the funding confirmed today helps to build more supported housing and join up housing and care locally.