New Thinking in Supported Housing
Welcome to Michael Patterson’s supported housing blog. Here you’ll find free thinking on supported housing funding, policy, regulation and values, to mention but a few areas of interest.
The Supported Housing (Regulatory Oversight) Act
This Act has some shortcomings, however, it’s a very big step in the right direction towards ridding supported housing of the parasites that infest it in the guise of certain supported housing providers, RPs, developers and investors that are interested in financially abusing people with additional needs in return for shoddy properties and negligible or no support.
The Exempt Accommodation Inquiry Report
There is a saying that “hard cases make bad law” and I believe, unfortunately, that this is what we’re seeing here. With some exceptions, notably on domestic violence and abuse services, this Report is a missed opportunity based on an inadequate grasp of the supported housing ecosystem that it wishes to reform.
The Consultation on Rent Capping & Enhanced Housing Benefit
As you’re doubtless aware the Regulator for Social Housing is currently consulting on the introduction of a core rent increase of 3%, 5% or 7% for social housing. The consultation is here.
The reason for the consultation is the significant increase in the rate of inflation in circumstances where social housing core rents can currently be annually increased by CPI +1%. If CPI is around 10%-11% or more, then a core rent rise of this magnitude is unsupportable by the great majority of mainstream social housing tenants. Many would argue that any core rent rise is unsupportable by many social housing tenants.
The Problems with Exempt Accommodation
Wea seeing an invasion of the supported housing ecosystem by people and organisations who know how to play the system for financial gain.
This influx of the uninvited has led to significant pressure on local authorities and enhanced Housing Benefit. Alleged supported housing providers, whether connected to dubiously motivated private capital or not, have popped up all over the place, usually in the form of a CIC, and demanded enhanced Housing Benefit for alleged supported housing services that no one asked them to provide.
Problems Claiming Enhanced Housing Benefit?
Charities, voluntary organisations and registered providers (housing associations) that provide supported housing and/or tenancy sustainment services are entitled to Enhanced Housing Benefit to provide Intensive Housing Management. However, all things are not equal and some organisations are, in practice, more entitled than others.
Enhanced Housing Benefit, the Exempt Accommodation Project and the Oversight of Supported Housing
Back in October 2020 I wrote a briefing on the National Statement of Expectations for Supported Housing in which I expressed concern that it would be used as an exercise in cost control. Unfortunately, those fears seem to be justified in many instances. Some local authorities are trying to insist on supported housing providers becoming registered providers to qualify for framework agreements and tenders in circumstances where, in England at least, this is a very difficult thing to do.
Other local authorities are restricting enhanced Housing Benefit payments to non-registered supported housing providers to artificial local maxima of less than they need and are entitled to. They do this to avoid the subsidy loss they incur when they pay enhanced Housing Benefit to non-registered supported housing providers. This is understandable in a way, but it further reinforces the three-tier system in which a tenant’s entitlement to enhanced Housing Benefit is dependent on the legal identity of their landlord, which is patently bonkers as well as discriminatory.
But here’s a solution.
The Exempt Accommodation Project
Supported housing providers are increasingly being told they must register as registered providers in order to claim Enhanced Housing Benefit and/or to be included on local framework agreements. Here is a solution for supported housing providers, local authorities and registered providers alike.
Why are some local authorities restricting enhanced Housing Benefit payments to charities & voluntary agency supported housing providers and/or forcing them to apply to become registered providers?
Intensive Housing Management & Enhanced Housing Benefit
A list of routinely eligible tasks and functions
The Supported Housing (Regulation) Bill
The National Statement of Expectations for Supported Housing
Using Commercial & Retail Space for Reconfigured Supported Housing in the “Post Covid” Era
Working Together to Develop New Supported Housing
Claiming Enhanced Housing Benefit for Intensive Housing Management
The Oversight of Supported Housing
Funding Supported Housing
What is Supported Housing? (Part 2): Defining It
Funding Intensive Housing Management
What is Supported Housing? (Part 1): A Victim of its own Misdescription
Exempt Accommodation & Intensive Housing Management
From the Support Solutions archive
Managing the Covid 19 Pandemic for Landlords & Providers of Social & Supported Housing
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