Supported housing funding to be retained in welfare system, government announces

Local authorities will not be given control of funding short-term accommodation after proposals made last October were dropped

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Photo: Jurgen Eis/imageBroker/Rex Shuttershock

Housing benefit will continue to be provided for all those living in supported accommodation, the government has said.

Under proposals announced last October, local authorities were to be given control of funding for short-term supported housing, including grant funding for short-term provision, such as hostels and refugees.

However, a government statement this week said ministers had decided to scrap the plans after recognising supported housing as”a vital service”, following a a public consultation.

This means that residents will continue to claim housing benefit as usual, paying rent directly to their landlord.

Careful listening

Minister for family support, housing and child maintenance Justin Tomlinson said: “We are committed to ensuring that vulnerable people have access to the supported housing they need to live safely and independently.

“We value the expertise of stakeholders and have listened carefully to their concerns during the consultation.

“As a result we will continue to pay housing benefit for all supported housing –making sure safe homes are provided for those that need it most.”

In addition to reversing its decision to give greater powers to councils, the government announced it would work with providers, local authorities, membership bodies and resident representatives to “to develop a robust oversight regime”.

It said this would “ensure quality and value for money across the whole supported housing sector”.

A review of housing related support will also be undertaken to better understand how housing and support currently fit together.

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