Housing benefit system to remain in place for supported housing

Housing benefit system to remain in place for supported housing

Housing benefit will be kept in place for all those living in supported housing, the government has announced.

Having consulted with providers, stakeholders and councils, the government has decided housing benefit will remain in place to fund this accommodation.

Justin Tomlinson, Minister for Family Support, Housing and Child Maintenance, said:

"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."

Last year the government published proposals on new ways of funding supported housing, which included grant funding for short-term provision, such as hostels and refuges, and a ‘Sheltered Rent’ for sheltered and extra care housing. Under the grant model, councils would have received funding and paid short-term supported housing rents at their discretion.

Now that government has opted to keep funding within housing benefit, residents will claim housing benefit as usual, with their rent normally being paid directly to their landlord.

Responding to the Government’s announcement on supported housing, Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, said:

“This announcement will give councils and housing providers the certainty to sustain and invest supported housing for some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.

“A sustainable funding model for supported housing is critical to ensuring councils can reduce homelessness and help older and other vulnerable people.

“It is, however, crucial that councils have the leading role in overseeing and ensuring the provision of housing for vulnerable groups is good quality, value for money, and fits in with the wider local services offered in places.

“We look forward to working with the Government and our housing and care partners to ensure that the future of supported housing best achieves our ambitions for communities.”