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Special Needs Housing

Volume 170: debated on Friday 20 April 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Wales whether he proposes to make changes to the funding arrangements for special needs projects undertaken by housing associations in Wales; and if he will make a statement.

Special needs housing projects financed by Housing for Wales will be subject to new funding arrangements introduced from 1 April 1990.The capital element of these projects will be funded by a mixture of housing association grant from Housing for Wales and private finance, as is already the case with the general needs housing. The level of grant will take into account the higher costs of providing special needs housing. This means that from 1 April 1990 all new allocations for housing association schemes funded by Housing for Wales will be on a mixed funding basis.

A new revenue allowance, to be known as special needs management allowance, will cover the additional housing management costs incurred for special needs housing; it will replace hostel deficit grant. Care costs will continue to be met from other topping-up sources.

These new arrangements will lead to the more effective and efficient use of public money in the funding of special needs schemes and improvements in estimating future expenditure demands.

Initially, the level of the new allowance will average £2,800 per bed space for existing schemes and £3,600 per bed space for all new schemes coming into occupation in 1990–91. Existing schemes will continue to claim hostel deficit grant until 1991–92 when they, too, will be eligible for the new allowance.

To allow payments of the allowance to be paid from the start of the financial year, parliamentary approval of the revised estimate (class XVI vote 6 1990–91) is being sought for expenditure estimated at £168,000 to be met from repayable advances from the Contingencies Fund.