New funding and guidance for supported housing

Kelly Tolhurst has announced new funding for supported housing pilots in priority areas, as part of measures to improve standards and quality in supported housing.

The Minister for Rough Sleeping and Housing made the announcement as the government publishes a new National Statement of Expectations (NSE), setting out what it expects to see in standards, quality and value for money in supported housing and how this can be achieved by bringing together best practice across the sector.

The funding, totalling £3 million, will be spread across five pilot areas in Birmingham, Hull, Blackpool, Bristol and Blackburn, to improve quality, enforcement, oversight and value for money in supported housing, focusing on short-term supported accommodation. The pilots will run until the end of March 2021.

The supported housing pilots will involve collaborative working between local partners and will carefully test different approaches to greater oversight of the sector and how higher standards could be enforced.

Tolhurst said: “Providing good quality homes to people who have been homeless, or who are unable to live independently, is fundamental to our support for vulnerable people. I know that most supported housing providers already provide a good service and it is right that we expect standards to be high. My statement today sends a strong message to providers that don’t meet our benchmark that they need to shape up. The pilots we are funding will explore different approaches to supported housing, to further raise the quality of service across the country.”

Kate Henderson, chief executive of the National Housing Federation, said: “We are glad to see the government taking this important step to set clear expectations for standards in supported housing. The National Statement of Expectations demonstrates the value of supported housing and reflects our close work with the government, as well as our members – the housing associations which provide most of the supported housing in this country.

“We also welcome the funding for pilots, which will provide an opportunity to review how we can ensure these homes and services are of high quality, which housing associations are absolutely committed to. Supported housing plays a vital role in our society, ensuring that thousands of people have the home and support they need to live independent and healthy lives. We must continue to invest in it and develop it, including building more supported housing to help more people access these desperately needed services.”