In April I wrote about the importance of supported housing and mentioned a letter I wrote to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. In my letter, I asked the Department what action the Government is taking to increase the quality of supported housing and if they had any plans to make changes to Housing Benefit to make personal care services more affordable for residents.
In her reply, Heather Wheeler MP, Minister for Housing and Homeless, recognised the benefits to the wider economy of investing in supported housing and assured me that the Government is committed to protecting these homes and the people who live in them. Specifically, on the issue of quality, the Minister said that the Government is committed to bringing additional robust oversight of quality and value for money across the whole supported housing sector. Regarding the principle of making personal care services more affordable for residents, the Minister said that whilst she would like to ensure that everyone has access to the care they need, people should expect to contribute to their care as part of preparing for later life. Ms Wheeler went on to say that the Social Care Green Paper will bring forward ideas for including an element of risk pooling in the system, which she says will protect people from the higher costs. You can read the Minister’s letter at the bottom of this page.
The Social Care Green Paper was first promised in the March 2017 Budget, more than 2 years later the Government are continuing to say it will come at “the earliest opportunity”. The Government’s failure to act with urgency on such an important issue is deeply worrying. The Labour Party will continue to press the Government to deliver the Social Care Green Paper urgently.