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Supported housing: funding changes examined

16 February 2017

The Work and Pensions and Communities and Local Government Committees hear on the risks and benefits of the Government's proposed changes to funding for supported housing as part of their joint inquiry into the future of the sector.


Tuesday 21 February 2017, Committee Room 8, Palace of Westminster

From 3.45pm

  • David Orr, Chief Executive, National Housing Federation
  • Zhan McIntyre, Policy Lead, Scottish Federation of Housing Associations
  • Dr Jonathan Hobson, Academic Subject Leader in Social Sciences, University of Gloucester

Session focus

The session focuses on the proposed funding reforms, whether they are likely to affect the sector's ability to meet future demand and how they will affect different users of supported housing. The witnesses are also expected to be asked about possible alternative funding systems for short-term accommodation, such as hostels and refuges, and whether there should be different arrangements for other categories of users, such as the elderly.

The inquiry examines the planned changes for 2019-20, when core rent and service charges for supported housing will be funded through Housing Benefit or Universal Credit up to the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rate. For costs above this, funding will go to local authorities for disbursement locally.

Chairs' comments

Speaking on the launch of the inquiry, Richard Graham MP, Work and Pensions Committee co-Chair of the inquiry, said:

"Supported housing is more expensive for housing providers as residents often need personal care, support or supervision. However, as we have seen in our inquiry into support for ex-offenders, it can also be a crucial step in a person's transition into employment and in preventing re-offending, with all the human and economic benefits that can bring.

From 2019/2020, local authorities will be given funding to 'top up' payments to housing providers, to meet this higher cost of supported housing. We will explore options for the top up fund in order to reduce uncertainty and support more development in the sector."

Helen Hayes MP, Communities and Local Government Committee co-Chair of the inquiry said:

"Supported and sheltered housing provides vital accommodation for some of the most vulnerable groups in society, but there are concerns that these changes could exacerbate the shortfall in placements, with providers having to abandon plans for new developments or scale back and even close existing schemes.

Our inquiry will consider the potential impact on the sector and explore how the changes will work in practice, which will include looking at how local funding allocations will be determined. We are also keen to find out how existing tenants will be protected following the switch."

Further information

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