Secure future for supported housing

Carer Kelly Tudor is pictured with Gavin Williamson and Les Clarke.

The government has published its response to the consultation on funding for supported housing, ending plans to cap housing benefit for supported housing tenants in line with the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) which is used to set benefit rates for tenants of private landlords.

The government also confirmed that housing benefit will be kept in place for all those living in social housing. Justin Tomlinson, minister for family support, housing and child maintenance, said: “We value the expertise of stakeholders and listened carefully to their concerns during the consultation. As a result we will continue to pay housing benefit for all supported housing, making sure safe homes are provided for those that need it most.”

David Orr, chief executive of the National Housing Federation said: “The Government have heard the concerns of the sector and changed their minds. This is a testament to fantastic local lobbying carried by members up and down the country, who opened the doors of supported housing schemes to politicians and stakeholders.”

As a major supported housing provider in the region, Housing Plus Group invited local MP and now defence secretary Gavin Williamson to visit Corsers Court in Perton for discussions about the impact of proposed funding changes not just on organisations such as ours but, more importantly, on residents and their families.

“We stressed the fundamental need to base future funding on the actual cost of delivering supported housing,” care and support director Les Clarke explained. “We also discussed the fact that Local housing Allowance (LHA) rates do not reflect the local housing market. Much of our area is covered by cap for the Black Country, where housing costs are significantly lower. The proposed cap would have placed Mr Williamson’s constituents at a considerable disadvantage.”

Mr Williamson described himself as a fan of supported housing and pledged to take up with the housing minister points raised during his visit: “Schemes like Corsers Court give residents real choice and independence,” he said. “It has been very interesting to learn more about the facilities and support available and to meet care staff and residents.”

 The full announcement is available on the Government website.

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