Make or break: the future of supported housing

6 October 2017

It’s make or break: Porchlight is desperately trying to get MPs to fight for the future of supported housing.

We’re calling on them to attend a Parliamentary debate on supported housing this Tuesday (10 October, which also happens to be World Homelessness Day).

It’s about a government proposal to change housing benefits - a change which will have catastrophic implications and could lead to the closure of homeless hostels and other types of supported housing for vulnerable people.

We believe it’s extremely important they attend and let their Parliamentary colleagues know just how vital supported housing is for vulnerable people.

Porchlight chief executive Mike Barret says: “Our politicians need to understand that supported housing is vital for vulnerable people in their constituencies. Without it, homelessness will increase dramatically.

“This proposal won’t even save money in the long run. With no supported housing, the health of people in need of support will deteriorate and they’ll require more expensive interventions in the future.

“Keeping funding secure for supported housing really is a no brainer. This is why we need our MP’s to speak up for their vulnerable constituents who are in dire need. Surely, the people using our services are owed some respect and certainty to help them cope with their already incredibly difficult lives.”

From April 2019, the Government plans to cap all Local Housing Allowance benefit for people in supported and sheltered housing.

This will dramatically affect our ability to pay for the costs of housing (rent and service charges), and the support provided to our vulnerable residents (by support staff, keyworkers, and with therapeutic activities).

The plan is for local authorities to pay a top-up and cover the shortfall. We are concerned that these will not be sufficient to compensate for this loss.

Ultimately, the plans could mean the closure of homeless hostels and other types of supported housing. It would result in hundreds more people sleeping on the streets.