Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Rossendale Council standing up for people in supported housing

Rossendale Council have quite rightly raised the issue of Housing Benefit cuts to people in supported housing. They quite rightly point out that;
"The proposed change will affect the lives of hundreds of thousands of people who totally depend on this specialist housing, and many are the most vulnerable people with nowhere else to turn – older people, the homeless, those with dementia, people with mental health problems, ex-veterans and women fleeing domestic violence.

According to the National Housing Federation, this change would hit vulnerable people by an average of £68 a week and at least 82,000 homes for these groups would be forced to close. In a recent survey by Inside Housing magazine 95% of supported housing providers would be forced to wind up housing schemes for the most vulnerable if the planned benefit cut goes ahead.

The cut will link the amount of housing benefit to the level of Local Housing Allowance but rents in supported housing are typically much higher than this due to the care element provided. Discretionary Housing Payments will go nowhere near addressing this shortfall leaving tenants with huge arrears if the benefit is capped."












The Council notes that proposed changes to cap housing benefit to the level of Local Housing Allowance will have a massive detrimental impact upon those living in supported housing.

The proposed change will affect the lives of hundreds of thousands of people who totally depend on this specialist housing, and many are the most vulnerable people with nowhere else to turn – older people, the homeless, those with dementia, people with mental health problems, ex-veterans and women fleeing domestic violence.

According to the National Housing Federation, this change would hit vulnerable people by an average of £68 a week and at least 82,000 homes for these groups would be forced to close. In a recent survey by Inside Housing magazine 95% of supported housing providers would be forced to wind up housing schemes for the most vulnerable if the planned benefit cut goes ahead.

The cut will link the amount of housing benefit to the level of Local Housing Allowance but rents in supported housing are typically much higher than this due to the care element provided. Discretionary Housing Payments will go nowhere near addressing this shortfall leaving tenants with huge arrears if the benefit is capped.

Although the measure is not due to be fully implemented until April 2018, the government has failed to understand that it has a profound impact now, today. New homes for supported housing, partly funded by capital investment from the government, will now not be built because no provider can risk the cost of new building unless they are confident the rent will cover the cost. Existing homes will begin to close very soon as contacts for the provision of care and support services, which usually last three to five years, are renegotiated. No organisation can possibly sign such a contract unless they have a reasonable expectation that they will be able to pay the price.