In March 2016, there was an announcement that the introduction of LHA rate in 2018 will apply to supported housing tenancies signed after April 2017, not April 2016 as previously proposed.
Future funding of supported housing: an overview
Government announces its response to the consultation on the future funding of supported housing. Along with many others in the sector, we welcomed the Government’s decision to retain funding (for rental costs) for supported housing within the benefits system.
Government publishes an interim response to the consultation, with a full response expected in the summer. The interim response highlighted concerns in the sector around the definition and ring-fencing and acknowledges calls for a rethink of the proposals.
Oct 2017 – Jan 2018
The Government launched a new consultation on supported housing funding with an updated set of proposals. The consultation outlines three different funding models for supported housing – one for sheltered and extra care housing, long-term supported accommodation and short-term accommodation. Long-term supported housing and sheltered housing will continue to be funded through the benefits system, with some changes. However, an entirely different system is proposed for short-term accommodation i.e. supported housing where people would be expected to move on within two years. These services will no longer have their housing costs funded through housing benefit, but instead, their housing costs will be commissioned from a ring-fenced pot held by local authorities. The consultation does not discuss funding for support costs. Homeless Link runs a number of consultation events to shape our final submission to the consultation.
First consultation: LHA cap
At PMQs, the Prime Minister announces that the LHA cap will not be applied to the supported housing sector and that new proposals will be brought forward imminently.
The joint Work and Pensions and Communities and Local Government committee publish its report on the proposal to introduce the LHA cap to the supported housing sector. The report is critical of the proposed approach and makes a number of recommendations.
Homeless Link represents members on two of the four task and finish groups convened by MHCLG to help with the development of the funding proposals. Homeless Link sat on the group looking at short-term accommodation and also at fair access to funding. The final reports from all four task and finish groups are available on the Government website.
The 1% rent reduction comes into force for registered providers of supported housing until 2020.
- Homeless Link publishes Future Focus, outlining the five key principles against which we believe any new funding model should be assessed:
- 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
Nov 2016 – Feb 2017
The Government runs a consultation on its proposals to apply the Local Housing Allowance cap to supported housing. Any shortfall between the LHA rate and the rent will be funded from a ring-fenced grant held at local authority level. Homeless Link produced a number of resources for members to support them with their consultation responses, as well as making our own submission to the consultation based on member feedback.
Alongside the consultation, DCLG and DWP published a review of the scale, scope and size of the supported housing sector.
The Minister announces the implementation of the LHA cap in the supported housing sector will be delayed from April 2018 to April 2019.
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