Today we had confirmation of the Government’s plans for supported housing funding (read more here). However, far from being concrete plans, this announcement heralds yet another deferral for supported housing which, whilst better than the alternative, still means uncertainty for all those providing housing for older people and for older people themselves.
Funds will be transferred to councils to top up supported housing costs as part of its plans to cap housing benefit at Local Housing Allowance (LHA) levels and this cap will be deferred for supported housing providers until just 2019/20 when it will be included. Where costs are higher than the LHA rate e.g. for supported housing, ‘top up’ (and ring fenced for the time being but not indefinitely) funding will be available from local authorities in England and from Welsh and Scottish governments. The 1% rent reduction however will apply to supported housing up to 2019/20 with exemption only for refuges, mutuals/co-operatives, almshouses and Community Land Trusts.
Whilst we welcome the decision not to include supported housing as part of the HB cap, we are disappointed that the uncertainty continues as does government’s failure to appreciate the value of sheltered and retirement housing and the savings it makes for the public purse.