Is this something that HB can pay?

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    I wondered if someone can point me in the right direction.

    We have received a number a claims recently for people who were in hospital receiving care for drug and alcohol abuse and mental illness. The primary care trust has deemed that they are now well enough to come out of hospital and start independant living.

    However the properties they are due to move into are not quite ready and therefore they have been placed into a property owned by the care trust until they are ready.

    In the property that they are currently residing in whilst awaiting their permanent homes they have been granted licences and are seeking HB to cover these. The property has the facility for support workers to sleep in and give support/ assistance where required and as I understand this is being taken up by the tenants. The care trust is the appointees for the majority of the tenants and those that they are not their appointees are the county council.

    Is this a care home?

    Is this exempt accom?

    Is this subject to LHA?

    I am really at a loss as to whether we can pay and really need some direction.

    Many Thanks


    I think the first question is which property are they claiming HB for – the new permanent property for four weeks perhaps?

    If not, then I think you are right in that you first have to establish what type of property it is. That means a bit of investigation into it; perhaps internally by asking colleagues in housing and social services.


    They are claiming for the temporary property and we have just been advised that there will be 80 people that they intend to transfer to independent living.

    What kind of questions do I need to ask about to establish if it is a care home as I have checked the websites and the property is not classified/ registered as a care home.


    If you are satisfied that it is not a care home, then you need to establish what type of landlord is involved. It might be that this is private accommodation leased by the trust; I know you say it is owned by them but did they really have an 80 room property sitting empty?

    Why not try and arrange a meeting / vist the property to see what you can find out?


    Agree with Peter’s approach. Another relevant question may be whether on not the people have been formally discharged and therefore no longer the statutory responsibility of the NHS to accommodate.

    If that’s the case then they could certainly be liable to pay rent, and the facts so far seem to point to LHA rather than ‘exempt accommodation’ (by virtue of the landlord’s status).

    Not something I’ve come across working in social care here in Durham, but if it’s a temporary arrangement and the other properties aren’t ready then I suppose it’s a good bit of lateral thinking(!!).


    We have now received some responses which make me think that even though the property has been deregistered it would still fall within the definition of a care home.

    The property was deregistered in July 2010, some of the residents are still occupying the property and still receiving the same care as before.

    The tenants that have been allocated accommodation after the deregistration have been placed there on guidance/ medical evidence of the primary care trust and the appointees.

    All tenants require 24/7 support and some of them need assistance with bathing dressing etc and this is also provided by the primary care trust who own the property.

    I am on the right track here, or have I missed something that means that I can pay HB?


    If the property was de-registered in July then that’s the clincher. All of the former residents are now receiving nursing and domiciliary care in their own homes, which is a pretty common scenario across most communities. The CQC must have been satisfied (and beleive me, their scrutiny of these applications is rigorous!) that the de-registration had been undertaken for the right reasons, and that the proposed new services would still meet the former ‘residents’ needs.

    One of the key issues they’ll have looked at when is the degree of separation between accommodation and care provision. If they had any doubts then they’d have insisted on the service remaining registered because the definition of a Care HOme (found in the Care Standards Act 2000 – ‘accommodation provided together with care’) applied. It looks to me like a service that is re-modelling/modernising to meet local and health authority targets to offer more vulnerable adults (PSA16 groups) ‘settled’ accommodation.

    Residential Care is not classed by Central Govt as ‘settled accommodation’ because of the limited rights of tenure, so this type of thing has been increasingly common over recent years. Despite what some folks think it has nothing to do with accessing HB for the sake of it – Res Care providers already have their accommodation funded from the public purse in most cases. The switch to HB is simply a by product of the decision to offer this group of individuals more security (and responsibility) through the holding of tenancies.

    Unlikely to be part of the new Government’s policy though, so expect a flurry of ‘re-registrations’…

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