Govern­ment boost sup­ported hous­ing

Stockport Express - - Your Views - MARY ROBIN­SON Con­ser­va­tive MP for Chea­dle

SUP­PORTED hous­ing plays a cru­cial role in our com­mu­ni­ties and so­ci­ety as a whole, al­low­ing vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple to live as in­de­pen­dently as pos­si­ble while en­sur­ing that they re­ceive the care and sup­port they need.

Whether some­one needs this sup­port for the long-term, for ex­am­ple peo­ple with learn­ing dis­abil­i­ties or el­derly peo­ple who re­quire that ex­tra bit of sup­port, or for the short­term, for ex­am­ple peo­ple with spe­cific men­tal health needs or those flee­ing do­mes­tic vi­o­lence, it is vi­tal that we con­tinue to pro­vide this sup­port to the most vul­ner­a­ble in so­ci­ety.

I wel­come the an­nounce­ment from the Govern­ment that the lo­cal hous­ing al­lowance cap will not be ap­plied to so­cially rented homes, in ad­di­tion to a new ap­proach to fund­ing for sup­ported hous­ing, which will end the ‘top up’ which lo­cal coun­cils cur­rently have to pay. This will make sup­ported hous­ing more ac­ces­si­ble to those who need it.

I have vis­ited sup­ported hous­ing schemes lo­cally, such as Ed­in­burgh Close in Chea­dle, to see the dif­fer­ence they can make to peo­ple’s lives and to un­der­stand how best we can sup­port the sec­tor.

These ex­pe­ri­ences helped me greatly when I sat on the joint com­mit­tee in­quiry into the fu­ture of sup­ported hous­ing, which went on to pub­lish a re­port that has in­spired three key pro­pos­als from the Govern­ment.

Firstly, a ‘Shel­tered Rent’ from April 2020 will bring in new cost con­trols and re­place the cur­rent ‘top up’ paid by coun­cils, re­duc­ing the bur­den on them and mak­ing sup­ported hous­ing more ac­ces­si­ble. The Govern­ment will also com­mit to fur­ther work to pro­tect those with dis­abil­i­ties in long-term sup­ported hous­ing and will put a spe­cial fo­cus on sup­port­ing peo­ple who rely on tran­si­tional and cri­sis ac­com­mo­da­tion through a ring-fenced grant, via lo­cal coun­cils.

Shap­ing the fu­ture of sup­ported hous­ing will help us strike the right bal­ance be­tween car­ing for peo­ple’s needs and en­abling them to live in­de­pen­dently. I am pleased to see these changes and I am con­fi­dent the Govern­ment recog­nise the vi­tal role of sup­ported hous­ing and look for­ward to see­ing this im­por­tant area strength­ened.

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