Supported housing funding changes – where are we now?
The expected next round of consultation was delayed as a result of the election, and the timeframe for producing a consultation paper before the summer parliamentary recess looks increasingly tight. The next few weeks and months are, therefore, a critical time for the progress of these proposals.
Homeless Link and our members are clear that in their current form the proposals are unworkable. They put supported housing schemes at serious risk of closure and vulnerable people at risk of losing this vital support. Given the particular impact on short-term accommodation projects, they also undermine the Government’s welcome manifesto commitments on ending rough sleeping. The recent critical joint report from the Work and Pensions and Communities and Local Government Select Committees echoed many of the concerns that have been repeatedly raised by our members. Read our summary of the Select Commitees’ report and key findings here.
In light of these continuing concerns about the proposals across and beyond the sector, Homeless Link has written to Government Ministers, calling on them to reconsider these damaging proposals to apply the LHA rate to supported housing. We have also written to opposition spokespeople and a number of MPs asking them to support the call to drop these proposals and were co-signatories to a letter in the Guardian ahead of the election calling for the plans to be dropped.
What can our members do to support this call?
We know many of our members submitted evidence to the Government consultation on these proposals in February 2017, as well as the joint Select Committee report. We believe there is another window of opportunity ahead of the next stage of consultation to continue outlining our concerns about the proposals. We also want to reiterate to policy-makers, and other stakeholders, the value of the supported housing sector and the work it does with vulnerable groups every day across the country. There are two ways members can work with us to do this:
- Share details of your impact and successes on Twitter with the hashtag #droptheLHA
- Write to your MP asking them to support the call to drop the proposed LHA cap on supported housing and inviting them to visit your service over the summer recess to better understand the work you do
Parliament does not sit over the summer, so MPs will be back working in their constituencies. It is, therefore, the perfect opportunity to get to know your new MP or continue to build a relationship with a returning MP.
You can find out who your local MP is on the Parliament website, or drop us a line at email@example.com if you are struggling to find details for them. We have also produced a parliamentary briefing for MPs on supported housing funding, which you may want to include with your letter. This outlines the proposals to date, some of the sector’s key concerns and the main findings from the joint Select Committee report. You can download a copy at the bottom of this page. However, the important thing is to talk about your work locally and the vital support you give to vulnerable people in your MP’s constituency.
Homeless Link will continue to oppose the proposals to introduce the LHA rate to the supported housing sector. When the next round of consultation about these proposals takes place, we will make sure members have all the information they need to respond. If you have any questions or comments in the meantime, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Paula is policy manager at Homeless Link and leads on the Supported Housing Alliance.