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Housing: Elderly

Volume 464: debated on Tuesday 16 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what assessment she has made of the effect of the Supporting People regime on the choices open to older residents who wish to retain their residential wardens; (157742)

(2) what consultation has been conducted with older sheltered housing residents on the replacement of residential scheme managers with floating support services;

(3) what mechanisms there are for older people living in sheltered housing to challenge or complain about support services commissioned under Supporting People;

(4) how many older residents who moved into sheltered housing on the basis of having access to a residential warden are having this service removed as a result of Supporting People;

(5) what assessment she has made of the effect of the replacement of residential scheme managers with floating support on the level of security and communal support offered to older residents.

The Supporting People programme is administered at the local level by the relevant administering authority. It is for the authority to decide which services to fund in order to deliver good quality, value for money housing support services for vulnerable people in their area. The authority should make these decisions informed by the local needs and priorities identified in their five-year Supporting People strategies.

Moving from accommodation-based or warden models of support to floating support is a decision that can only be taken locally. It is therefore also at that local level that any assessment of their relative value should be made. No central assessment has been made.

In “Independence and Opportunity”, the national Supporting People strategy published earlier this year, the Government set out their expectation that both local authorities and Supporting People service providers should

“Ensure that there is effective communication with service users and to explain changes properly to service users.”

Any challenges about a consultation process or complaint about services should be made via the relevant authority's complaints procedure or that of the service provider.

It is for commissioners of services locally to understand the factors that influence an older person's decision to take up a specific type of accommodation. This is not measured centrally by the Government.