Supported housing consultation update
While initial reactions to the proposals were cautious and the removal of the LHA cap was widely welcomed, over time a more detailed opposition to the plans across the sector has emerged. There is a palpable sense that despite the sector’s willingness to engage in discussions about supported housing funding over the years, we are no closer to certainty about the future. There is frustration that although many organisations have enthusiastically shared their data, experience and expertise with policy-makers in the past, we are still in a position where the complexity and value of the sector appear to be poorly understood.
We know that the solutions to the issues raised by the consultation are not simple and that there will not necessarily be one unified view across the sector about how best to move things forward. We also know that whatever the final outcome of these and future discussions, our members will continue to work hard to deliver high quality supported housing services to people who need them.
However, on balance, we believe that the current proposals do not offer the certainty that the sector has repeatedly called for, nor do they put the future of short-term accommodation on a stable financial footing. The two-year timeframe introduces arbitrary divisions into the sector and put services supporting some of the most vulnerable groups at highest risk. We will, therefore, be outlining our opposition to the proposals in our response to the consultation and calling on the Government to consider alternative models that retain more provision within the benefits system. We know a number of members are currently working to develop some of these alternatives.
While we are still finalising the detail of our response to incorporate all the feedback we have had from members, we have produced a summary of our key concerns to share at this stage. We hope you will find this useful in forming your own responses. If you have any queries or have any additional comments you would like to share, please do get in touch with my colleague Paula on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Rick is the CEO of Homeless Link and was appointed to that role in July 2012. He is a member of the government’s National Rough Sleeping Advisory Panel and the London Mayor’s Rough Sleeping Task Group.