For several months I have been writing about my concerns for the future of specialist supported housing as a result of a proposed cap in line with Local Housing Allowance that was announced by the former Chancellor, George Osborn, in his budget following the general election in 2015.
With a change in personnel at the top of government, there is an opportunity to drop ill thought through policies such as this.
The new work and pensions secretary, Damian Green, had been expected to make an announcement about the future of this proposal last week. However, he has put off the announcement until the autumn.
I’m not too overly concerned about this postponement because any rushed announcement hight have resulted in the proposal remaining in place. However, taking the summer to review the situation, Mr Green will be able to do a proper review and realise that many specialist supported housing schemes would close.
The downside of a delay is that many specialist supported housing schemes that were planned have not going ahead because of uncertainty about future revenue funding. That uncertainty will continue for a few months more.
Mr Green has said in parliament that he will be making an announcement early in the autumn that will set up the government’s view on what the future funding solutions for specialist supported housing will look like.
Organisations like BHT rely a great deal on this funding, but more importantly several hundred people living in our residential projects rely on the accommodation and support to sustain their recovery from addiction, manage their mental health problems, and return to work.