The government have issued a policy statement and consultation on the
future funding of supported housing and are seeking responses by 23
In launching the policy statement and consultation the
government claim the proposals set out a tailored approach to
protect and encourage the supply of a wide range of supported
Local areas will be expected to take a bigger role in providing
short-term and emergency housing through a ring-fenced grant to
local authorities by April 2020, allowing vulnerable people to
access secure accommodation without worrying about meeting housing
costs at a difficult point in their lives. The grant will be
underpinned by a National Statement of Expectation setting out how
local authorities should plan effectively for provision in their
Supported housing provides a home to some of the most vulnerable
people in this country and the vast majority is provided for older
people. The government acknowledge that the supply of these homes
needs to grow as this country's ageing population means that demand
is forecast to increase.
The government say these reforms will ensure:
- funding certainty for the sector, and encouraging long-term
investment and new supply
- local areas have a greater role in commissioning services
- councils have a stronger role in providing the right services
for their local areas
A summary of the proposals is set out in the ARCH Briefing 6/2017.
Key points of the government's proposals are:
- As previously reported, the Government has
dropped plans to apply the Local Housing Allowance cap to social
housing, including supported housing, and is now proposing a new
funding model to apply from April 2020.
- The new proposals envisage different funding models for three
types of supported housing:
- Sheltered and extra care supported housing: usually designated
for older people with support needs;
- Short-term and transitional support: for example housing for
homeless people with support needs, those fleeing domestic abuse,
vulnerable young people, offenders and those with drug and alcohol
- Long-term support: for example housing for people with learning
or physical disabilities or mental ill-health.
- For sheltered housing, the Government plans a new "sheltered
- Funding for short-term and transitional supported housing,
including that currently provided through housing benefit, will be
transferred to ring-fenced local grant funds to be administered by
local authorities (county councils in two-tier areas).
- For long-term supported housing, since the LHA cap will not
apply, rents (including eligible service charges) will continue to
be fully eligible for Housing Benefit/Universal Credit.
- Local authorities will be asked to undertake a needs assessment
to identify current provision and future needs, and to produce a
local plan setting out how funding will be used to meet these local
needs. Local partnerships between commissioners and providers
(and county and district councils in two tier areas) will be
encouraged, in order to plan and deliver provision.
Views on the detailed implementation of the new funding model
are invited in two consultation papers appended to the policy
statement, one dealing with sheltered and extra care housing and
the other with short-term supported accommodation. The deadline for
comments on both is 23 January 2018.
The ARCH Executive Board will be considering the government's
proposals at its meeting on 13 November and will be writing to the
lead officer at each ARCH member council to invite the views of
member authorities on the consultation proposals and take them into
account in deciding on the ARCH response.