Funding for supported housing: Government response

August 9, 2018

The Government has responded to two consultations on funding for supported housing, stating that housing benefit will be kept in place for all those living in supported housing.

Ministers recognise that supported housing is a vital service for some of the most vulnerable people in our communities, and last year consulted on possible alternative funding for supported housing.

Having listened to views from providers, stakeholders and councils, the Government has decided housing benefit will remain in place to fund this accommodation.

Housing Minister, Kit Malthouse MP said, 'Protection of the most vulnerable has always been our primary concern, and following our consultation, the case for keeping supported housing in the welfare system became clear.

'The sector also recognised that our aim of improving the quality of homes must be addressed, and we look forward to now working with partners to make sure we have strong measures in place.'

Alongside this, Government has also announced that it will work with providers, local authorities, membership bodies and resident representatives over the coming months to develop a robust oversight regime.

This work will ensure quality and value for money across the whole supported housing sector.

In addition, a review of housing related support will be undertaken to better understand how housing and support currently fit together.

Responding to the announcement on supported housing, Councillor Izzi Seccombe, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said, 'This announcement will give councils and housing providers the certainty to sustain and invest supported housing for some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.

'A sustainable funding model for supported housing is critical to ensuring councils can reduce homelessness and help older and other vulnerable people.

'It is, however, crucial that councils have the leading role in overseeing and ensuring the provision of housing for vulnerable groups is good quality, value for money, and fits in with the wider local services offered in places.

'We look forward to working with the Government and our housing and care partners to ensure that the future of supported housing best achieves our ambitions for communities.'

Last year the government published proposals on new ways of funding supported housing. These models included a ‘Sheltered Rent’ for sheltered and extra care housing. Under the grant model, councils would have received funding and paid short-term supported housing rents at their discretion.

Now that government has opted to keep funding within housing benefit, this means residents will claim housing benefit as usual, with their rent normally being paid directly to their landlord.

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