The London Assembly Housing Committee has published its report 'Supported Housing in the Balance' which looks at the current challenges facing supported housing in the capital.
It highlights worrying concerns that hundreds of the most vulnerable Londoners will face an uncertain future, unless the Mayor of London and the Government act immediately to rectify the situation.
The findings of the report include:
- ‘Supported housing’ costs more than ‘general needs’ housing to develop and run, but it provides vital services to vulnerable Londoners and offers good value for money.
- There is no clear aggregate data on the need for, and supply of, supported housing in London, but the data we have, including population growth projections, suggest that, far from simply managing a reduction in supply, we need to build more supported housing.
- Current incentives to develop and operate supported housing are limited. The Mayor has a dedicated fund which is not being efficiently utilised.
- Budget-pooling pilots demonstrate how we can more effectively use the resources we have by breaking down administrative boundaries and joining up services.
- The Government has reviewed how supported housing is funded in the future and has confirmed that providers must reduce the rents they charge from 2017-18. The amount of Housing Benefit available to pay for supported housing from 2019-20 will be pegged to Local Housing Allowance levels. The Government indicates that a separate dedicated funding stream will be devolved to local authorities to cover the additional funding providers would need to maintain the status quo.
- But until providers have certainty over future funding arrangements, both current schemes and new development proposals will remain on hold.
- This puts current and future cohorts of vulnerable Londoners at risk.