One of the great benefits of erosh membership is the opportunity to influence governments and policy makers and in Wales we are doing just this. Welsh Government is currently reviewing how supported housing, including older people’s housing will be funded in the future.
Wales, like England, is concerned about the effect the proposed Local Housing Allowance cap on social housing rents and how this will impact on sheltered and retirement housing. Erosh Cymru (South Wales) set up a working group at the end of last year to consider the issues and collate members’ concerns. We also undertook a survey to consolidate views (if you haven’t yet completed the survey, please do so here).
In December, the working group met with Karl Thomas, Welsh Government, to discuss the views and concerns of erosh Cymru members. As a result of this meeting, Richard Sheahan, network chair, is now attending the meetings of the Welsh Government Steering Group which facilitates engagement with stakeholders in order to consider the “case for change”, undertake an options appraisal, and select a preferred option with the aim of providing guidance to Welsh Ministers.
Paul Webb has now replaced Karl Thomas at the Welsh Government and Paul recently attended a further meeting of the Erosh Cymru network on 23 May. Paul outlined the timetable for the Steering Group’s work which is due to be completed by April 18 with a view to implementing the changes by April 19 (subject of course to any changes as a result of the forthcoming general election). Paul will attend a future meeting of the erosh Cymru network to ‘brainstorm’ different options with erosh members. We will also be inviting Paul to speak at the joint erosh/CIH Cymru conference in December.
Rebecca Mollart, erosh CEO, is “delighted that the Welsh Government sees erosh as a key stakeholder network and a useful way of engaging with a large group of providers of housing and support for older people”. Richard Sheahan, chair of the erosh Cymru network added “I welcome the opportunity Welsh Government has given us to co-produce its advice to ministers, advice that we hope will ultimately determine future funding policy for older persons accommodation and ensure that the sector is appropriately funded for decades to come”.