I have been extremely concerned about the cuts in housing benefit to particular groups. Young people under the age of 21 and to elderly and disabled who live in supportive housing. The elderly and severely disabled.
Lancashire based Progress Housing Group have written to me recently to highlight the problems of capping supported housing rents and the impact that will have on vulnerable people in Haslingden and Hyndburn. The rent caps will leave people with a shortfall in money to pay their local housing association. These changes come along with significant cuts to other services for those with mental health care and learning disabilities. The Government's decision to restrict supported housing rents is typical of Conservative thinking: ill judged, poorly consulted budgetary policies.
Capping supported housing rents restricts the funding of social housing landlords- which will result in a decline in the quality and quantity of supported housing in the area. Progress Housing Group has had to scrap pre planned schemes due to the announcements, and I fear other groups may have to restrict their developments due to this policy.
It appears that once again the current Conservative government is unwilling to listen those actually living or working within supported housing. With further cuts to public services, mental health services are far too stretched. The Government's intervention with a poorly planned policy could result in the families of those in supported housing having to shoulder the pressure of unsuitable accommodation.
When a Government decides to make such impromptu and unplanned decisions, it often fails to see the effect this can have upon those attempting to make plans for the future of their organisations and for their families.