It all starts at home

01 September 2017

A home offers the secure foundations we all need to manage the ups and downs of life and achieve our aspirations. 

Helping people to live safely and independently at home, or in a homely setting, has been recognised as not only having positive outcomes for individuals but also able to make savings to the public purse.

Yet funding for supported housing isn’t on a stable footing. Proposed changes mean that in 18 months’ time, the amount of money Government invests may no longer match the cost of these vital services. From April 2019, the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) cap would apply to all new claims in supported and sheltered housing, with top-ups paid by the local authority. The proposed cap means there could be a gap between the LHA rate available to those eligible through Universal Credit and housing benefit, and the actual cost of supported housing.

The availability of specialist and supported housing is failing to keep up with demand. It is estimated that around 16,000 more specialist homes are needed every year for older people alone to close the gap by 2030. If current trends continue, the annual gap in provision for working age people will grow to 35,166 places by 2020/21.

Our government’s proposed reforms have hindered development of much-needed new stock. Research published in the last week by the National Housing Federation indicates that housing associations have slashed the number of supported housing homes they plan to build by 85%, citing the financial uncertainty associated with the proposed LHA cap. We're currently on-site in Taunton and have just completed new homes in Filton, but we'd able to do much more with certainty around future funding.

It's therefore vital that government listens to the concerns of the sector, and drops its proposal to introduce the LHA cap for supported housing.

Mark Coates

Director of Supported Housing & Empowerment

This month we’re supporting the National Housing Federation’s Starts at Home campaign celebrating how supported housing has helped thousands of people gain independence.