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Uncertainty over supported housing damaging the market, councils warn

Supported housing must be made permanently exempt from the housing benefit cap, the LGA has said, warning that the current uncertainty is damaging the market.

The government announced in March that supported accommodation will be exempt from the cap on local housing allowance until April 2017, and is due to confirm whether this arrangement will be permanent next month.

The LGA warned that the continued state of uncertainty meant that supported accommodation, which provides for people including the elderly, former homeless people and offenders, people fleeing domestic violence and people with learning disabilities or mental health problems, is not being built and existing schemes are forced to close.It said that this was adding to additional pressure on councils’ social care services.

Cllr Izzi Seccombe, community wellbeing spokesperson for the LGA, said: “We urge the government to listen to our call and exempt supported housing from the cap, and to work with us to look at alternative ways of managing this cost.

“It is vital that we ensure we continue to meet the needs of some of the most vulnerable people in our society, and that they live in homes that are fit for purpose.”

Figures from the National Housing Association show that the cap will lead to the closure of 156,000 units of specialist housing, or 41% of all existing schemes.

It will also mean that almost no new housing will be built in the sector, as the building of an estimated 9,000 units, or 96% of new schemes, will not go ahead.

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Jane   21/06/2016 at 16:12

And what's wrong with living in care homes, by the way? It doesn't matter if supported housing isn't there anymore. Anyway, care homes are a more safer environment to live in. All of the safeguarding team I work with, agree about that. This supported housing is just a way to make profits from the vulnerable. They all need knocking down.

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