A List of Routinely Eligible Intensive Housing Management Tasks & Functions
Please be mindful that just because a task, activity or function is listed here it doesn’t necessarily mean that a local authority Revenues & Benefits Team will agree to fund it, or even agree that it’s eligible in principle. Different authorities take different views, but what I have listed below are things that are routinely accepted as eligible.
Enhanced Housing Benefit for Intensive Housing Management is a complex area. It’s based on regulation and case law and is subject to change. Landlords seeking Enhanced Housing Benefit to fund Intensive Housing Management services must comply with the Exempt Accommodation rules. The amounts claimed should reflect the reasonable costs of providing eligible services to people who have been genuinely assessed as needing Intensive Housing Management.
Claims for Enhanced Housing Benefit are rightly subject to scrutiny by local authorities, and the level of scrutiny is increasing as a consequence of abuses of the system by some unscrupulous individuals and organisations. The National Statement of Expectation for Supported Housing (England only) encourages local authorities and their strategic partners to ‘manage the supported housing market’. In practical terms this involves ensuring the quality of supported housing providers and controlling Enhanced Housing Benefit costs.
If you are seeking Enhanced Housing Benefit for Intensive Housing Management you should be an existing, qualifying supported housing provider. If you are a new supported housing provider you should have established referral pathways and be acting with the specific approval of commissioners.
You might be an excellent supported housing provider that provides excellent services to people with additional needs. This doesn’t guarantee that a local authority will agree to pay you Enhanced Housing Benefit, but we can help you in the construction, submission and negotiation of claims.
Intensive Housing Management that is routinely eligible for Enhanced Housing Benefit is split into two broad areas and includes both staff and non-staff costs:
- General needs housing management and maintenance functions that are more intensively provided as a consequence of the additional needs of supported housing residents
- Additional or intensive housing management and maintenance functions and tasks that would not be provided in general needs accommodation where no additional needs exist. Such tasks and functions include but are not limited to:
Intensive Housing Management List
- The provision of an alarm (even though alarms are not HB eligible) or the Housing Proactive system (which is HB eligible. Please ask us about this)
- Controlling access to the premises (concierge type services)
- Ensuring rent is paid regularly and on time.
- Explaining the occupancy agreement and assisting people to abide by it.
- Organising inspections of property and arranging for any repairs or improvements to be carried out, including the replacement of furniture.
- The additional costs of property maintenance and repair, aids and adaptations, housing services, furniture, fittings and equipment
- Ensuring that people are aware of their rights under their occupancy agreement.
- Offering advice and guidance on keeping property to a reasonable standard of hygiene.
- Signposting people to other support providers as required.
- Liaising with all relevant agencies, both statutory and voluntary, on the tenant’s behalf to the extent that it concerns their ability to maintain/develop independence in relation to their housing.
- Assisting people to reduce rent arrears.
- Dealing with nuisance issues.
- Ensuring that people know how to use equipment safely.
- Providing people with advice and facilitating a move to alternative accommodation as required.
- Assisting people to claim the housing component of Universal Credit and other welfare benefits related to their supported housing.
- Helping to keep people safe by monitoring visitors, including contractors and professionals, and by carrying out health and safety and risk assessments of property.
- Internet access within sheltered and supported housing.
If you do any or all of the above in sheltered and/or supported housing or tenancy sustainment services and you are an eligible provider (see paragraphs 2 and 4 above) then you should be eligible to claim Enhanced Housing Benefit
If you want advice and assistance in claiming Enhanced Housing Benefit please get in touch.