The government should provide an extra £29 million to close
Supporting People’s funding gap and review the
programme’s operational problems because they “threaten to
destabilise services for vulnerable people”, writes
Anabel Unity Sale.
These are the demands made by housing association trade body the
National Housing Federation in a letter to housing minister Lord
Jeff Rooker. Supporting People, a new single-stream funding regime
for housing with support, comes into effect on 1 April.
NHF chief executive Jim Coulter said the government should
urgently reinstate the £29 million gap between the funding
identified in December 2002 and the money it allocated to councils.
Last month the government awarded £1.4 billion to the 150 lead
authorities running the initiative through partnerships with local
social services, health, housing and probation services.
Meanwhile, a report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation into the
expected impact of Supporting People on services for people with
complex needs found that health, housing, social services and
probation service commissioners lack an agreed definition of
marginal groups and an understanding of the service options.
‘Supporting People: Real Change?’ says there are known
“shortfalls and gaps” in services for marginal groups. It says:
“The shortage in services for people with high support needs who do
not come into the sphere of community care is of particular
The research for the report included 40 interviews with service
commissioners, providers, advisory organisations and government
officers, and contact with all local Supporting People teams.
‘Supporting People: Real Change? Planning Housing and Support
for Marginal Groups’ from 01904 430 033