Desperate times for supported housing supply in London
An underspend of £23.4 million has been discovered in the Mayor’s Care and Support Specialised Housing Fund (MCSSHF) which funds supported housing.
Supported housing is an umbrella term covering a spectrum of accommodation-based support for vulnerable people. These include people with physical or learning disabilities, frail and older people, people at risk of domestic violence, young people leaving care and homeless people.
The London Assembly Housing Committee has today released the 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.
Andrew Boff AM, Chairman of the Housing Committee said:
“The limited capital funds available from City Hall are not being utilised because public and private developers are reluctant to build new supported housing. The Government has been dragging its feet over announcing future revenue funding arrangements, which are vital in reducing scheme risk for developers.
The crazy fact is that supported housing placements cost less than a specialist residential equivalent, so they will save money in the longer-term. It’s time to get the funding arrangements sorted, so vulnerable people aren’t left in the dark any longer.”
The report recommends:
- The Mayor should develop a clearer pan-London map of supported housing stock and provision. At present, there are no London-wide figures on the number of supported houses.
- The Mayor needs to review his Care and Support Specialised Housing Fund, to avoid a net loss of supported housing stock.
- There is an urgent need for a settled and sufficient funding arrangement. The Mayor must press government to ensure that the outcome of its review into supported housing recognises both the additional building and running costs, and the savings made to the wider public purse which it delivers.
Notes to editors
- Andrew Boff AM, Chairman of the Housing Committee, is available for interviews. See contact details below.
- The report ‘Supported Housing in the Balance’ is attached.
- The Committee held a meeting on Supported Housing in July. It also undertook a site visit in March, reported in June (item 11).
- London Assembly Housing Committee
- As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and a balance on the Mayor.
For media enquiries, please contact Mary Dolan on 020 7983 4603. For out of hours media enquiries, call 020 7983 4000 and ask for the London Assembly duty press officer. Non-media enquiries should be directed to the Public Liaison Unit on 020 7983 4100.