Thank you for contacting me about supported housing.
As Rethink Mental Illness recognises, supported housing is a lifeline for many people with mental health conditions. I fully support protecting these homes and the people who live in them, and the new funding model for supported housing will put the sector on a sustainable and stable footing.
I’m pleased that concerns raised by the supported housing sector have been listened to and that Ministers have decided that there cannot be a one-size-fits-all solution for this sector. Local Housing Allowance rates will not be applied to tenants in supported housing, nor to the wider social rented sector. This means that long-term supported housing costs will continue to be covered fully through the welfare system.
The Government recognises the need for a distinct model for short-term supported housing. As you highlight, funding for this part of the sector will be provided through locally administered ring-fenced grants, underpinned by a new, comprehensive local planning and oversight regime that will be continuously reviewed. I welcome that by 2020 English councils will have received access to more than £200 billion in funding. This will provide funding security to the sector and provide local councils with greater control over provision in their areas.
Moreover, the two-year period for which short-term accommodation will be provided is not a crude cut-off. Rather, under the Government’s definition, short-term supported housing may be provided either for two years or until transition to suitable long-term stable accommodation is found, whichever occurs first.
I’m confident that the proposed funding for supported housing will enable a more localised approach to providing accommodation for some of the most vulnerable people in this country, including those suffering from mental health conditions.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
EDWARD LEIGH MP