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Supported Housing

Volume 300: debated on Wednesday 5 November 1997

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To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what plans she has for consultation on the long-term funding arrangements for supported housing; and if she will make a statement. [14901]

Securing stable, sustainable long-term funding arrangements for supported housing will take time. The Government are keen to take the views of those working in the field before making any decision. I am therefore setting out our objectives for the long term. These are:

A Government-wide approach
Clarifying responsibilities for controlling, targeting, and prioritising public expenditure on services supporting people in their homes—avoiding gaps and overlaps between budgets
Ensuring the funding system can respond to individuals' needs and enable support to be provided in different types of accommodation and tenures
Avoiding the possibility that accommodation choices may be distorted by the availability and interaction of different funding (this may result from the inter action of demand-led and cash-limited funding streams)
Encouraging coherent and transparent planning, funding and accountability arrangements—at the appropriate level—for support services in the context of wider community care and related programmes
Compatibility with the Government's wider social policy objectives
Encouraging the most cost effective approach across all sectors which takes account of all public expenditure costs; group and wider funding responsibilities, and links with other changes that authorities face
Practicality—identifying solutions that are workable at central and local levels which could be implemented reasonably simply, considering what transitional arrangements might be necessary.
Departmental officials will be contacting over two hundred individuals and organisations who responded to last year's Social Security Advisory Committee consultation. The Committee's report was published last week. We shall now ask respondents for their views on how best to translate these objectives into a modern, practical and sustainable funding system for this valuable social provision. Others who may wish to contribute to the debate are welcome to do so. Representations will be taken up to 5 December 1997.