Housing initiative may have short life

The government’s flagship initiative to transform the way housing
with support is provided to vulnerable people may be redundant five
years after it is launched.

The Supporting People scheme comes into effect next April, but the
assistant director of housing strategy at the Anchor Trust has
warned it may have served its purpose by 2008.

Speaking at the National Housing Federation’s annual housing
conference in Birmingham last week, Geoff Loughlin predicted that
Supporting People budgets would be capped and services reduced and
rationalised locally within five years.

“If Supporting People is still around, and I am not sure that it
will be, it will be less important. Supporting People will have
served its purpose and have been sucked into other budgets,” he

Most single tier local authorities look set to meet the 30
September deadline for sending in their Supporting People shadow
strategies to the deputy prime minister. Two-tier councils have
been given until October 31.

But Jean Spray, chairperson of the Brighton and Hove City primary
care trust, said PCTs were already struggling to cope with changes
in the NHS without having to consider the impact of Supporting

She said: “The idea of providing new support services to people is
something that we have not even begun to think about seriously at a
strategic level.”

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