Future funding of supported housing, House of Commons debate, 10 October 2017

Councils have a responsibility to support, safeguard, care for and house vulnerable members of their community.


Key messages

  • Councils have a responsibility to support, safeguard, care for and house vulnerable members of their community. The provision of supported housing is vital to ensuring vulnerable people live in suitable homes that meet their personal and all-round housing, health and care needs.
  • We are pleased that the Government has listened to the concerns raised by the LGA regarding the long-term sustainability of supported housing by committing to provide top-up funding above the level of the Local Housing Allowance cap to local authorities to meet the costs of supported housing in their areas. We are calling on the Government to ensure that this covers the full cost of supported housing in each locality and that councils are not left with a shortfall.
  • Adequate funding and distribution is vital to the future availability and sustainability of supported housing for some of our most vulnerable residents. The LGA responded to the supported housing consultation published on 22 November 2016.
  • In our response to this consultation, we called for an examination of the legal ramifications of applying this policy to existing tenancies. We also outlined the importance of only new tenancies coming under the policy from 2019/20, with a phased introduction of existing tenancies.
  • There needs to be a separate LHA rate for supported housing that is designed based on rents and charges in this sector. The top-up fund has to be sufficient and flexible; and future-proofed to meet a range of local circumstances.
  • Any reform of funding for supported housing to take into account how the support element is funded, particularly within adult social care, and not just the housing element. There should be no expectation that the gap in funding created by applying the LHA costs will be met by other council budgets.
  • Councils, as local public services accountable to local people, are best placed to determine and deliver based on the housing, health and social care needs of their communities. As such, it makes sense for councils to use their commissioning role to gain an oversight of the quality, provision and long-term planning of supported housing.

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Future funding of supported housing, House of Commons debate, 10 October 2017