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The Government has published its’ response to two consultations on the funding of supported housing, stating that for now, there will be no change to the current systems in place.
Background to consultations
At the end of October 2017, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) (as was) jointly launched two consultations on the funding of supported housing costs for:
- sheltered and extra care accommodation; and
- short-term supported accommodation.
A summary of the proposals set in the consultation papers is set out in our previous e-briefing.
Following the consultation period and having reviewed the significant number of responses received, the Government has published its’ response to the consultations. In summary the Government:
- will not be pursuing the proposed Sheltered Rent model in the upcoming consultation on the Rent Standard Direction;
- will not proceed with the proposed grant model for short-term accommodation; and
- will work with various sector organisations to develop an oversight regime building on the draft National Statement of Expectation published last October.
So essentially there is nothing new for now: supported housing residents will continue to claim Housing Benefit (where eligible).
What does this mean?
The Government’s response will be welcomed by those sector organisations that expressed concerns about the viability of the proposals set out in the consultations. Continued payment through Housing Benefit (or via self-payment where relevant) ensures costs are covered and provides certainty.
However, there is some frustration that, despite the repeated Government statements over numerous years that the current set up is not financially sustainable in the long-term, we are no further forward in identifying a solution.
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