Further to the announcement in October 2017 to ditch its LHA proposals for supported housing and the wider social housing sector, the government have issued a policy statement and 2 consultation papers that sets out a tailored approach to protect and encourage the supply of a wide range of supported housing. One on housing costs for sheltered and extra care accommodation, and one on housing costs for short-term supported accommodation.
In short, it proposes that all long-term housing will remain in the welfare system and a proposed ‘sheltered rent’ for sheltered and extra care housing will keep rent and service charge at an appropriate level, protecting the housing needs of older and vulnerable people. Local areas will be taking 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 area.
The consultation period lasted for 12 weeks until 23 January 2018 and copies of the Housing LIN's responses on sheltered housing/extra care housing and short term accommodation can be found below, along with a House of Commons briefing.
Update (April 3rd 2018)
The MHCLG and DWP have released their response to these consultations.
Update (August 9th 2018)
Funding announcement 9 August 2018 – Housing Benefit will continue to fund supported housing
The outcome of the above consultation exercises (opens new window) on the proposals announced on 31 October 2017 was published on 9 August 2018. The Government said that, having listened to views from providers, stakeholders and councils, a decision had been made to keep Housing Benefit in place to fund supported housing.
However, work will be carried out with providers, local authorities, membership bodies and resident representatives “to develop a robust oversight regime”. Ensuring quality and value for money will be key factors as part of this regime. A further review of housing related support will be carried out to “better understand how housing and support currently fit together”. The Housing LIN will be following this with interest, especially in relation to sheltered and extra care housing and supported housing.