Funding for Supporting People announced with review of spiralling costs

The government announced the cash available for the Supporting
People programme this year with a review of the unexpected growth
of the transitional housing benefit element of the initiative,
writes Clare Jerrom.

The Supporting People programme in England has been
allocated £1.8 billion of funding for 2003-4.

At the same time, the government announced an independent review
of the increase in transitional housing benefit element of the
programme, which has risen by £400 million more than the
original estimates by local authorities announced in February.

Supporting People is a new system for allocating money to
providers of supported housing announced earlier this year, which
is run by local authorities.

The review will consider:

– variations between local authorities’ costs and patterns
of service provision
– services previously paid out of other budgets where it is unclear
how the resulting savings have been redeployed
– whether the programme is meeting its original objectives,
including schemes which raise questions about compliance with grant

The review will report in December in time to inform local
authority budget allocations for the next financial


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