85 per cent drop in new homes for vulnerable

Government plans have caused housing associations, who provide vital supported, sheltered and extra care housing, to slash plans to build new homes.

The National Housing Federation survey of 69 housing associations says that plans for new builds have dropped from 8,800 to 1,350, with respondents claiming that this is because of the uncertainty about the government’s proposed funding model and the withdrawal of funding for support services.

The federations says that 71 new schemes, representing 2,185 homes, have been postponed, while 19 new developments, totalling 803 homes, have been cancelled. A further 22 existing supported schemes and three sheltered schemes, amounting to 132 homes, are facing closure.

David Orr, chief executive at the National Housing Federation, says: “These findings really bring it home: changes to supported housing funding are stopping building for the most vulnerable. Housing associations know first-hand that the proposed funding model will not work – a view backed by a joint select committee – and yet government has failed to heed warnings.

“With social care in crisis, the role supported housing plays in alleviating pressures on the NHS is ever more important. These changes have not even come in yet and they have taken 7,000 homes for vulnerable people out of the pipeline. The proposed changes in funding bear no relation to the real cost of providing this type of housing. It is time government put supported housing on a secure and sustainable footing.”