Learning Disability England Supported Housing Survey

The government made announcements about changes to funding for supported housing. We surveyed our housing provider members.  We also had a housing provider members meeting on the 12th October to decide what we will do to make sure that tenants with learning disabilities are not badly affected.
In September 2016 the government made an announcement about changes to how rents for supported housing will be funded.

It said:
  • The Shared Accommodation Rate of Local Housing Allowance (LHA), which limits Housing Benefit for claimants under 35 to the cost of a room in a shared home, will not apply to residents in supported housing.
  • LHA rates will not apply to supported housing rents until 2019/20.
  • From 2019/20 all residents in supported housing who are eligible for financial assistance with their rent and service charge payments will receive Housing Benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit up to the applicable LHA rate.
  • A new funding model for the sector to be introduced from 2019/20.
  • Costs above the LHA rate will be met by a ring-fenced fund which the Government will devolve to local authorities in England. Wales and Scotland will receive an equivalent amount and will be able to decide how to allocate this funding.
  • The deferral of rent reductions for supported housing will end. Rent reductions will be applied to supported housing schemes so that rents for these properties will decrease by 1% a year for 3 years, up to and including 2019/20.
  • The exemption for specialised supported housing will remain in place over the period and will be extended to include fully mutuals/co-operatives, alms houses and Community Land Trusts and refuges.
We asked our housing provider members to tell us how the tenancies they provide to people with learning disabilities might be affected. we also asked them what they think of the proposals. Here are the results of the LHA Rent reduction survey.pdf

We met with some of LDE housing provider members and VODG on the 12th October 2016 to talk about what is most important about what members are telling us and what we should do next. This is what we agreed to do:

  • Ask for a clearer definition of Specialised Supported Housing from the government. The definition provided is not clear enough and does not give housing providers and commissioners enough confidence to develop new housing.We will write and tell them what we think the definition says and ask them to tell us if this is correct.
  • Wait for the consultation to come out from the government and bring our members together in a 1 day event to decide what to say about the proposals- this will be soon.
  • Survey commissioners and ask them how they think the LHA fund should work.
  • Survey tenants and families to ask them how they think the LHA fund should work. We will provide members with easy read information about the proposed changes so that tenants and families are able to understand the issues and say what they think.
  • London based housing provider members will meet with the Mayor's Office and Tom Brake MP to discuss how the proposals affect London tenants with learning disabilities.
  • LDE Representatives will seek a meeting with John Hall, Deputy Director for Supported Housing at Department for Communities and Local Government . We have invited John Hall to attend our supported living conference on 22nd November in Manchester where we hope he will get a good understanding of what supported housing means for people with learning disabilities.
   If you have any queries about this action plan or want to be consulted on the letter (and you wren't at the meeting on October 12th) please get in touch with Alicia Wood
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Learning Disability England
Birmingham Research Park
97 Vincent Drive
Birmingham, B15 2SQ, England
Tel. 0300 2010455
Learning Disability England
Registered company: 4233275
Registered Charity No. 1092587