Housing benefit will be kept in place for all those living in supported housing, the government has announced.
Ministers recognise that supported housing is a vital service for some of the most vulnerable people in our communities, and last year consulted on possible alternative funding options.
Having listened to views from providers, stakeholders and councils, the government has decided housing benefit will remain in place to fund this accommodation.
Housing Minister, Kit Malthouse MP, said:
Protection of the most vulnerable has always been our primary concern, and following our consultation, the case for keeping supported housing in the welfare system became clear.
The sector also recognised that our aim of improving the quality of homes must be addressed, and we look forward to now working with partners to make sure we have strong measures in place.
Justin Tomlinson, Minister for Family Support, Housing and Child Maintenance, said:
We are committed to ensuring that vulnerable people have access to the supported housing they need to live safely and independently.
We value the expertise of stakeholders and have listened carefully to their concerns during the consultation.
As a result we will continue to pay housing benefit for all supported housing –making sure safe homes are provided for those that need it most.
Alongside this, government has also today announced that it will work with providers, local authorities, membership bodies and resident representatives over the coming months to develop a robust oversight regime.
This work will ensure quality and value for money across the whole supported housing sector.
In addition, a review of housing related support will be undertaken to better understand how housing and support currently fit together.
Supported housing provides a home to some of the most vulnerable people across country. It gives people in crisis – such as those facing homelessness or fleeing domestic violence – a secure place to stay. It also provides a life-long home for those with learning and physical disabilities, mental ill-health and older people, providing independence.
Last year the government published proposals on new ways of funding supported housing. These models included grant funding for short-term provision, such as hostels and refuges, and a ‘Sheltered Rent’ for sheltered and extra care housing. Under the grant model, councils would have received funding and paid short-term supported housing rents at their discretion.
Now that government has opted to keep funding within housing benefit, this means residents will claim housing benefit as usual, with their rent normally being paid directly to their landlord.
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