A framework to shape the funding of sustainable supported housing services.
Supported housing campaign
Supported housing offers a lifeline for thousands of the most vulnerable people in our society. Over the last ten years, supported housing has lost a significant amount of investment and access to these services is increasingly limited. Services are currently facing rising pressures with severe cuts in housing-related support funding, inconsistencies in Housing Benefit decisions and increasing demand. Spending on housing‑related support by local authorities across England has fallen by at least 70% since 2010. The single biggest concern of our members is the security of funding.
Supported housing improves people’s health and independence and helps ease the pressure on other services, including the NHS, social care and the criminal justice system. It promotes social inclusion, plays a critical role in preventing ill health or the escalation of someone’s support needs, empowers individuals to achieve their potential, and contributes to stronger and safer communities. The support on offer helps people develop vital skills and access resources to live independently, including accessing education, training and employment.
“The security of having a roof over my head enabled me to focus on other aspects of my recovery and focus on other things that I wanted to achieve…without this element to my recovery it would have been extremely difficult to succeed.” Andy Ex-offender helped by supported housing
It is vital that the supported housing system is fit for purpose and protects those in our society who depend upon supported housing.
We are calling for a supported housing system that promotes the development and sharing of innovative practice, based on the expertise and knowledge of those providing and using these services. A new system must facilitate strong local partnership working to ensure that supported housing is embedded in local strategies, and based on an analysis of local needs to ensure the best outcomes for people living in these services.
Most critically, the funding of supported housing needs to be sustainable not just to meet current need, but to ensure high-quality, effective housing and support services are in place for all those who need them in the future.
In consultation with our members, we have produced this statement of the principles by which we think any system should be judged. We believe these principles will ensure that an effective, dynamic and sustainable supported housing sector is there for everyone who needs it in the future.
Five key principles for the supported housing system
In order to create a sustainable supported housing sector, the supported housing system must be underpinned by the following five principles:
- Provide adequate funding on a sustainable basis so that supported housing is available to everyone who needs it
- Respond flexibly to the diversity and complexity of people’s individual needs and aspirations
- Encourage the sector to use its expertise to implement good practice, innovate and develop to meet future demand
- Support the commissioning of high-quality supported housing schemes that meet the current and future needs of local communities
- Develop in partnership with supported housing schemes and their residents
Homeless Link and our members will continue to work together with central and local Government and other partners to ensure that supported housing has a long-term future.
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