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17 October 2013

Housing Minister invests £268m to support vulnerable people

Welsh Government press release:

Housing and Regeneration Minister, Carl Sargeant outlined today how £134m will be invested in each of the next two years to provide housing support and assistance for some of the most vulnerable people in society.

Commenting on the funding announced as part of the Welsh Government’s Draft Budget the Minister said “I am pleased that despite the challenging financial times facing the Welsh Government, I am able to deliver additional housing support for vulnerable people.

“Our Supporting People Programme is crucial in enabling people to live independently and deal with the very difficult personal circumstances they often face.

“The impact of the UK Government’s welfare reforms coupled with the pressures facing our health and social services, mean it is vital that we invest in services which will allow people to remain at home for longer.

“This investment will provide support over 50,000 people each year and will be crucial in preventing people turning to our health and social services.

“Evidence in a report commissioned by Carmarthenshire Council suggests that every £1 spent on Supporting People services saves the public purse £2.30 but this is not just about financial benefits. This support means that people can remain in and contribute to their communities for longer.”

Other housing initiatives boosted in the budget include:

• A further £20m over the next two years to provide smaller homes for tenants affected by the ‘bedroom tax’, bringing the affordable housing budget to £71.8m in 2014/15 and £62.1m in 2015/16.
• a further £5m providing loans to social landlords acquiring land for affordable housing developments
• an extra £5m to provide loans to support Vibrant and Viable Places by converting empty commercial properties into homes for sale or rent.

The Minister added “Despite unprecedented cuts in the Welsh budget, the Welsh Government remains determined to deliver on its ambitions for a fairer, healthier and prosperous Wales.

“It is crucial that we use every penny of our limited housing resources wisely and in ways that will deliver on the Welsh Government’s objectives.

This investment in housing will provide more high-quality, warm and secure homes, and will also deliver effective services so that everyone has the support they need to live independently. “