Government boost supported housing
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.