Supporting People `not designed to save money`

The senior civil servant responsible for steering the
government’s new programme for supported housing has denied it is
designed to cut costs, by David

Supporting People was purely aimed at improving services
according to Bert Provan, who is director of the housing care and
support division of the department of local government transport
and the regions.

The programme will replace the funding of housing support costs
through housing benefit with a cash limited scheme administered by
local authorities, which has prompted claims that it is designed to
save money.

Provan told the National Housing Federation’s housing care and
support conference: “It is not about cutting costs. It is about
delivering quality services.”

But there was still much work to do before Supporting People is
introduced in all parts of the country in 2003, he said.

“I am under no illusions there are a number of significant
issues to be addressed,” he said. Detailed guidance on the
programme’s implementation will be issued in October.

Provan admitted the transitional housing benefit scheme
introduced while Supporting People is being developed has “not
worked in the way anticipated”, and he told delegates it would not
be used to measure the amount of money each local authority would
be allocated under Supporting People.

Civil servants may consider examining contracts to glean the
‘size of the pot’.

Clare Tickell, who is chief executive of Stonham Housing
Association, told the conference she was concerned that registered
social landlords were not being given enough money to respond to
the challenges of Supporting People.

“Local authorities have been given bucket loads. There is a not
a concomitant

amount for housing associations,” she said. She was also
particularly concerned that the needs of people with complex
problems would not be met after Supporting People is




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