Supporting People set for revamp as funding problems prompt review

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.

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 be 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

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 additional
needs to housing and if adequate support was not put in place the
new developments risked being plagued by antisocial behaviour on
the scale of that suffered by inhabitants of large estates built in
the 1960s and 70s.

More from Community Care

Comments are closed.