After years of campaigning, our sector has secured the future funding for supported housing.
Several government proposals, consultations, and sector responses have led us to our current position of a secure future funding model for supported housing. At each stage, our members worked tirelessly to campaign for supported housing. This section of the website summarises this process in recognition of all this hard work.
November 2015 to August 2018, this summary covers:
- The LHA cap for supported housing
- Proposed changes to sheltered housing and short-term services
- Future funding model for all supported housing confirmed
At the Comprehensive Spending Review in November 2015, the Government announced that the LHA cap would apply to all new tenants living in social housing from April 2018.
In consultation with more than 200 organisations, the Federation submitted a sector response to this announcement. We made it clear that the LHA cap would lead to insufficient funding for supported housing. This would result in new supported housing not being built and, in some cases, existing supported housing closing down.
The Government reviewed our response and, in September 2016, announced changes to proposals for the LHA cap. However, the housing association sector was clear that these changes did not change the great deal of uncertainty created by the LHA cap. Our new response on behalf of the sector clarified this.
On 25 October 2017, the LHA cap was dropped.
The Prime Minister announced that the LHA cap would not apply to supported housing nor the wider social housing sector. This news was enormously welcome, and a testament to the hard work of the whole sector, united behind one message.
Following the Government’s announcement on the removal of the LHA cap, a new supported housing funding model was proposed. Key proposals were:
- housing cost funding for long-term and sheltered housing services to remain in the benefits system
- a ‘sheltered rent’ for sheltered and extra care housing to keep rent and service charges at an appropriate level
- housing costs for short-term services to be paid through local councils.
In particular, the proposal for short-term services signalled a big change for the sector. Many housing associations stated that this meant moving from secure funding (through the benefit system) to insecure funding (finite grants commissioned by local authorities).
The Federation’s response to the proposals strongly highlighted these concerns, and we campaigned for changes.
In August 2018, following months of campaigning by the Federation and our members, the Government listened to the sector’s concerns and confirmed that housing costs for supported housing will continue to be paid through Housing Benefit.
This means that long-term supported housing, sheltered housing, and short-term services will all be funded through a secure funding model – through the benefit system – both now and in the future.
After years of insecurity, and several rounds of consultation, we believe this announcement finally provides the certainty needed for housing associations to continue providing and building vital homes and services that allow thousands of vulnerable people to live independent fulfilling lives.
In this announcement, the Government confirmed plans for increased transparency and oversight of supported housing. You can read more about this on our commitment to quality webpage.