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20 February 2017

Supported housing funding consultation response

Following extensive consultation with members, including four separate day-long events across Wales, Community Housing Cymru (CHC) has responded to the DWP/DCLG consultation on the future funding of supported housing across Great Britain.

UK Government intends to devolve the funding of supported housing, above the LHA rate, to Wales from April 2019. We have concerns around the size of this fund and whether it will grow sufficiently to meet the future demand for supported housing in Wales.

Alongside answering the questions contained in the consultation, our response includes the impact of the variable LHA cap, the diverging rent policies in Great Britain and makes a strong case for sheltered housing.

In summary, the response calls for:

  • Consideration to be given to retaining the current funding system for housing costs in supported housing, as this is flexible with demand.
  • Further research to fully understand the scale and cost of delivering supported housing in Wales.
  • Consideration to be given to the low LHA rates in Wales and their impact on the proposed funding mechanism.
  • Regional Partnership Boards and/or Regional Collaborative Committees to be considered as part of the future funding model to encourage collaboration across boundaries.
  • The new 'top-up' fund to be protected through a ring fence and legislation.
  • Category 1 sheltered housing to be included in any future definition of supported housing.
  • The new 'top-up' fund to remain separate from the Supporting People Programme Grant.
  • Minimal additional regulation. We believe that much of the sector is already regulated through the Supporting People governance structures and as Registered Social Landlords.
  • The funding of short term supported accommodation, such as hostels, to be removed from the benefits system and instead commissioned and contracted in its entirety through a GB wide or devolved fund.

Our full response can be downloaded here

We have also responsed to the joing CLG/WP Commons Select Committee Inquiry into the Future of Supported Housing Funding, which can be found here.