I have long campaigned against proposed Government reforms to funding for supported housing. Supported housing is essential for a wide range of vulnerable people including those who are facing an immediate housing crisis because of issues such as domestic abuse or homelessness. It can also serve as a life-long home for people with learning difficulties, mental ill health and for older people looking to lead an independent life for as long as possible.
I welcome the fact that following two consultations, under pressure from the Labour Party, housing associations and residents, the Government announced that housing costs for supported housing will continue to be paid through Housing Benefit. However, I remain worried that residents struggle to cope with the costs of personal care services that those who live in supported housing often receive. I am also concerned about the quality of accommodation. The Government said in their announcement following the consultations that they recognise the need to ensure high standards of accommodation across the whole sector. I have therefore written to Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP, Secretary of State for Housing, to raise these two issues.
I have asked if the Government has any plans to make changes to Housing Benefit to make personal care services more affordable for residents. I have also pressed the Secretary of State for more details on what action the Government is taking to increase the quality of supported housing. I will provide an update when I receive a reply.