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Supported Housing

Volume 615: debated on Monday 17 October 2016

13. What plans his Department has to help ensure long-term, sustainable and predictable funding for the supported housing sector. (906589)

19. What progress his Department is making on its proposal for a new supported accommodation funding model. (906595)

25. What plans his Department has to help ensure long-term, sustainable and predictable funding for the supported housing sector. (906601)

The Secretary of State announced in a written ministerial statement on 15 September 2016 that we will be deferring the application of local housing allowance rates for supported housing until 2019-20. At that point, we will bring in a new funding model.

In Lewisham, funding for supported accommodation has fallen by more than half since 2010. My constituent Winston Morris suffers from multiple sclerosis and is wholly reliant on his wheelchair. He was made homeless and had to move into his sister’s living room, where he sleeps, eats, uses the commode and bathes. More than a year later, he is still there. Despite being on the housing waiting list, there is no clear timeframe for when he will be rehoused. This is completely unacceptable. Will the Minister meet me to discuss his case to prevent other vulnerable people from falling into similar situations?

Local authorities are absolutely best placed to make decisions on supporting vulnerable people in their own areas and commissioning supported services that are needed locally, which is why I would be very happy to meet the hon. Lady to discuss the specific issues she raises. It is important that we work to establish the best funding model for supported housing.

First, I very much welcome the Government’s announcement to exempt specialist providers such as women’s refuges from changes to housing benefit. I know that the Government have a plan to help refuges and women’s refuges remain sustainable in the future, so I would like to hear what they plan to do for all other sorts of supported living accommodation for elderly people, people with learning difficulties and some of our ex-servicemen and women who, as I heard on the radio today, are having their services shut.

I commend the hon. Lady for the sterling work she has done on refuges. What we know is that there is a massive variety of types of providers of supported housing, and it is critical that in the consultation process we find a solution that works for all of them.

How many supported housing starts have been stalled by the Secretary of State’s decision to delay a framework for supported housing?

What is critical is that we get the solution right, which is why we are bringing forward the consultation and why we deferred the local housing allowance cap for supported housing until 2019-20.