Supported Housing Crack Down

Supported Housing Crack Down

13:42 PM, 4th July 2022, About a month ago 3

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Unscrupulous Supported housing providers who exploit vulnerable residents by charging high rents for poor-quality accommodation and offering almost no help will be driven out of the supported housing market by a new £20 million government improvement programme launched on 2 July 2022.

Supported housing provides accommodation alongside care, support, or supervision, helping vulnerable people across the country. In short-term supported housing, residents may have experience of homelessness, mental health issues or domestic abuse, and schemes should provide them with the skills and confidence to enter longer-term independent accommodation.

Many people in supported housing receive good quality, tailored support to help them get their lives back on track by assisting them to access health services or mental health support, manage their finances, find employment and/or sustain a tenancy.

But there are instances of supported housing landlords providing unacceptable levels of support while charging extortionate rents. For example, there have been reports of landlords providing as little support as dropping off a box of cereal while claiming £250 per week in an area where the average rent is £80.

This will be stamped out with a package of government measures that include:

  • minimum standards for support provided to residents in order to help their progress towards living independently
  • new powers for local authorities to better manage their local supported housing market and ensure no individual falls through the cracks
  • changes to Housing Benefit regulations to seek to define care, support, and supervision to improve quality across all specified supported housing provision

Alongside this, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) are today opening the bidding round for local councils to apply for funding from a £20 million Supported Housing Improvement Programme to drive up accommodation quality in some of the most affected areas.

This follows successful pilots which saw DLUHC work with 5 local authorities around England to improve supported housing in these areas.

Minister for Rough Sleeping and Housing Eddie Hughes MP said:  “We want vulnerable residents living in supported housing to have safe, appropriate accommodation, which meets their needs and can help them move onto more independent living.

“I’m pleased to open our Supported Housing Improvement Programme for bids today. This will build on the momentum from our successful pilots, helping councils in the worst-affected areas to tackle bad quality and poor value for money in supported housing, while preserving good provision by responsible providers.”

Minister for Welfare Delivery, David Rutley MP said: “The welfare system acts as a safety net to help people, including those living in supported housing and the Improvement Programme further strengthens that.

“Having a settled home gives people the security to improve their lives by getting on the employment ladder or taking other steps towards financial independence.

“This, supported by changes we recently announced which will give people on benefits the choice of putting money towards a deposit, provides the chance to make progress on the pathway to home ownership.”

From October 2020 to September 2021, DLUHC funded 5 local authorities (Birmingham, Blackburn with Darwen, Blackpool, Hull and Bristol) to test interventions to raise standards of accommodation and support and improve local authority oversight of the local supported housing market.

The pilot authorities were able to drive up the quality of accommodation and support to residents. They also improved value for money through enhanced scrutiny of Housing Benefit claims to verify that costs were legitimate and reasonable.

The independent evaluation of the pilots was published in April 2022. It found that increasing local authority capacity and capability had a positive impact on their ability to improve quality and value for money in supported housing at a local level.

This prospectus published today provides detailed guidance that will assist local councils in considering whether and how to bid, and for those selected to go on to participate in the programme.



Comments

DSR

14:35 PM, 4th July 2022, About a month ago

too busy laughing at this article half way through to see through the tears to read to the end...

"This will be stamped out with a package of government measures that include:

minimum standards for support provided to residents in order to help their progress towards living independently
new powers for local authorities to better manage their local supported housing market and ensure no individual falls through the cracks
changes to Housing Benefit regulations to seek to define care, support, and supervision to improve quality across all specified supported housing provision"

hahahhahaha!

Mohammed Shafiq

18:12 PM, 4th July 2022, About a month ago

I've been contacted by supported living providers who are NOT registered but are still running hundreds of properties as exempt accommodation - the Council is sending homeless and vulnerable people to them. How can Councils justify this? The crisis is of their own making.

DSR

13:25 PM, 5th July 2022, About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by Mohammed Shafiq at 04/07/2022 - 18:12because the council has nowhere else to put them!
Yes all of their own doing I fully agree. The Council don't bother to check that the providers they use are properly registered - they have to get people housed by any means possible.
If an agent comes along therefore saying he has been given X number of houses (by various private LL's) then they will basically snap their hands off.
Most of the time only part of the housing costs are paid by the councils by way of HB (most of it is paid direct by DWP to the Agent) so its an easy and cheaper solution.
Tenant off the emergency housing list, out of sight and they are being housed and paid for by someone else. Perfect.
The 'issue' of the actual support promised to the tenant is really not of the councils concern. They go back and say the law is not clear enough on what is supposed to constitute 'supported accommodation need' and therefore they cannot determine properly how an agent can be graded against this.(even if they EVER bother to check)
Everyone blaming everyone else..... when collectively they both represent the state, fully funded by the public purse.

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