Miliband calls for review of Supporting People

Local government minister David Miliband has called for a
fundamental review of Supporting People ahead of a possible bid for
increased funding for the programme, Community Care has

Office of the Deputy Prime Minister officials met last week to
discuss the troubled programme and are planning to produce a
strategy document outlining its “direction of travel”
by the end of the year.

If Miliband can be convinced of its worth, he will lobby the
Treasury for more funds in next year’s comprehensive spending
review, according to a source.

However, it is thought the ODPM is considering limited change
rather than an upheaval of the programme.

Officials are said to concerned by the amount of money spent on
“community care” projects, which they believe ought to
be funded by social services.

The strategy is likely to give more direction to local
authorities on government priorities for funding and include a
greater focus on outcomes rather than processes.

It will also tackle the personalised services agenda outlined in
the adult social care green paper. The ODPM has revealed that it is
exploring how funding for housing support might feature in planned
pilots to test individualised budgets.

National Housing Federation policy officer Diane Henderson said
any new strategy should consider the question of how supported
accommodation is linked to permanent housing. It should also
contain a pledge on proportionality, to limit bureaucracy for
smaller providers, and promise longer-term contracts for providers
who prove to be efficient.

Henderson also warned that the government must increase
Supporting People funding in the Thames Gateway or risk the 120,000
new homes planned for the area becoming part of sink estates.

She said people moving into social housing often had needs
additional to housing and if adequate support was not put in place
the new developments risked being plagued by anti-social behaviour
like the large estates built in the 1960s and 70s.


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