Our response to the Government consultation on funding models for short-term services and sheltered housing services.
24 January 2018
Following extensive consultation with our members, we have submitted our responses to the Government consultation.
Thank you to everyone who engaged with this process. There have been a variety of opinions across the sector, but our response is based on weight of feedback and what we think can be realistically achieved.
We have set out some suggested changes, working within the framework set out by the Government, that we believe will better meet the Government’s objectives and address the principles we would like to see adopted in the funding model. In summary, these changes are:
- The definition of short-term services in the consultation is tightened, so other than services intended for very short-stay/emergency accommodation, housing costs continue to be funded through the benefit system.
- Housing costs for very short-stay/emergency accommodation are covered through a grant from the Government, administered at local level.
- The locally administered grant for very short-stay/emergency accommodation is protected so housing costs continue to be met for existing and new services over the long term.
- Mechanisms for challenging poor quality services and accommodation are built into the administration of the locally administered grant.
We found that housing associations want to see a system that enables long-term decisions on investing in new and existing schemes to better meet the needs of an ageing population. Housing providers want to be able to meet the demand for new and refurbished schemes and aspire to improving the quality and choice of housing for older people on low incomes, including the many older people on fixed or low incomes who do not claim help with housing costs through Housing Benefit.
Overall our submission stresses that the sector shares the Government’s commitment to a high quality service and value for money, and urges the Government to work with us on how we can address these imperatives.