Reply To: Supported accommodation – abuse or not?

#8476
peterdelamothe
Keymaster

I dont think it is relevant Kevin. Whatever the issues in a specific appeal case, the important point is much wider than that. There is little doubt that SP providers are trying to target HB again and for the good reason that budgets are being cut and / or LA’s are looking for different provision.

Look at this as another example:

“Stadium Housing Association is set to launch a scheme that uses housing benefit to boost its portfolio of family homes without government grant.

The association has earmarked £40 million to buy 150 properties on the open market, around three quarters of which will have three or more bedrooms.

Most of the capital will be made up of lending, which will be serviced by tenants’ housing benefit payments. The association expects to put in some cash from its reserves

Although rents will be high, families will be offered the chance to make a ‘fully informed choice’ over whether to live in the properties acquired for the project”.

There is no suggestion that this RSL is doing anything but trying to tackle growing homelessness. Building decent new homes is surely right. On the other hand, the boldness is suggesting that high rents will be covered by HB is breathtaking. Worse, it puts LA’s bang in the spotlight. Refer the rents and the scheme collapses. Don’t refer and end up in battles with auditors and the BFI. Will these properties only be available to those on benefits on the basis that no-one else can afford them?

It really is time DWP sorted out what HB is there to do – but the collapse of LHA in the social sector undermines that. There is a need for a level playing field rather expecting Housing Benefit officers to make decisions that can impact on local housing build strategy.