Cash problems hit half of all housing support providers under new system

Up to half of all housing support services in Scotland have
faced cash flow problems since the introduction of the Supporting
People programme earlier this year, writes Maggie

A survey of Supporting People providers published by the
Scottish Council for Single Homeless identifies a number of
problems experienced by providers in the six months since
implementation in April 2003.

Dr Andrew Waugh, policy officer for SCSH and author of the
report, ‘In Need of Support?’, said: “This significant survey
covered 104 providers who accounted for an estimated 11 per cent of
all Supporting People spend in Scotland. Cash flow problems are
clearly a major headache for some providers, and these have been
caused by delayed payments or smaller than expected payments from
local authorities.”

Supporting People is a new system of funding for supported
housing providers. Local authorities allocate cash based on the
amounts they are given by the Scottish executive.

The survey found that the four out of five providers experienced
delays in payments. Forty per cent of Supporting People providers
received a lower than expected grant, and whilst 69 per cent of
providers had some form of contract in place at the time of the
survey (August 2003), 20 per cent did not and were not in receipt
of funding for the first six months.

A Scottish executive spokesperson said: “It would be a pity if
the goodwill which has been established amongst all parties working
towards making the Supporting People project succeed, were damaged
as the result of the views of such a small, unrepresentative sample
of housing support providers being given disproportionate

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