Damian Green Secretary of State for Work and Pensions has made
an announcement on the future funding of supported housing.
In a Written Statement to the House of Commons, the
Secretary of State announced that having listened to concerns
regarding the application of the Local Housing Allowance (LHA)
rates to social rents from 2018, the government will be deferring
the application of this policy for supported housing until 2019/20.
This is when the government will bring in a new funding model which
will ensure that the sector continues to be funded at current
levels, taking into account the effect of the policy on social
The statement makes it clear that from 2019/20 core rent and
service charges for supported housing will be funded through
Housing Benefit/Universal Credit up to the applicable LHA rate.
This will apply to all persons living in supported housing from
that date. However, the shared accommodation LHA rate (which limits
rent eligible for Housing Benefit for the under 35's) will not
apply to people living in supported housing
For supported housing costs above the LHA rate, the government
will devolve an amount of funding for disbursement locally to
provide additional "top up" funding to provider landlords (it is
not clear but it is assumed in England this will be to first tier
authorities). This top up funding will be "ring fenced" but it is
not clear how long for.
Rents for supported housing (which were exempted from the 1%
rent reduction in 2016/17) will be subject to the mandatory 1% rent
reduction from April 2017, up to and including 2019/20. However,
the existing exemption for "specialised supported housing" will
remain in place and will be extended over the remaining 3 years of
the policy for fully mutuals/co-operatives, alms houses and
Community Land Trusts and refuges.
The government will publish a formal consultation document