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The Chartered Institute of Housing is the independent voice for housing and the home of professional standards

Supported housing for older people 'should be excluded from new proposals until 2022'

14/02/2017


Supported housing for older people should be excluded from new funding proposals until at least 2022 – CIH has said in its response to the government's consultation.

CIH said the government should not include older people's supported housing in the proposals until the full rollout of universal credit has been completed to allow more time for a proper debate on how housing costs for older people should be managed.

It made the call as part of its response to the government’s consultation on proposed changes to the funding framework for supported housing.

It said if providers do not have long-term financial security then schemes would become unviable and this would have significant implications on already strained social and health services.

CIH also said emergency accommodation, including refuges and hostels, should be funded by a separate grant which sits outside of the framework.

Terrie Alafat CBE, chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Housing, said: “There is a real risk that without long-term security we will see providers of supported housing pull out of providing such schemes.

“We’re already aware that some have been forced to hold back while a decision is made.

“A reduction of supported housing schemes would be a travesty for some of the most vulnerable people in the UK and could have significant implications on our already strained health and social services.

“We believe supported housing for older people should be excluded from the proposed framework until at least 2022 – when the full roll out of universal credit has been achieved.

“That would give the government the chance to get the funding framework for schemes for working age people right and allow more time for a proper debate on how housing costs for older people should be managed in pension credit or other mechanisms.

“Elsewhere the provision of emergency accommodation is simply incompatible with the payment of LHA through universal credit and we are proposing this is funded through a separate block grant.”

In its submission CIH also said the proposed new top-up fund for supported housing would need to be ‘very significant’ to take account of the growing disparity between the local housing allowance (LHA) and rents.

It said a regional approach would be crucial to ensure the fund adequately takes account of the difference in areas where rents are particularly low and the gap between LHA and supported housing costs are therefore highest.

And it warned councils would need funding to administer the new fund which should not come from the top-up fund.

- CIH's full response to the consultation is available here.


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