Local Housing Allowance freeze will not apply to supported or general needs housing

The Government announced on Tuesday that it will be protecting current levels of housing benefit for both supported and general needs housing.

This is welcome news for the sector, with the majority of the people we support relying on enhanced levels of housing benefit to meet their long-term housing needs and allow them to live independently.

Tuesday’s announcement reverses a previous Government decision to limit housing benefit to Local Housing Allowance (LHA) levels, which had raised fears for vulnerable people and created uncertainty in the supported housing market.

With doubts over funding removed, it will now be easier for new supported living developments to proceed in the future. We are working on new developments for learning disability care with social landlords across the UK, including Barnard Road in Wolverhampton and Lorenzo Drive in Liverpool.

Speaking during Prime Minister’s Questions, Theresa May said: “I can say today that as part of our response to the review we will not apply the local housing allowance cap to supported housing.

“Indeed, we will not be implementing it in the wider social rented sector, and the full details will be made available when we publish our response to the consultation.”

Matthew Flinton, Commercial Director at Voyage Care and co-chair of Learning Disability Voices, one of the organisations which responded to the Government’s consultation on the issue, said:

“We are pleased to see that the Government has taken on board the concerns of the sector. Providing people with learning disabilities with access to high quality, affordable housing is key to ensuring that the Government is able to meet its commitments to vulnerable people and their families under the transforming care agenda. Tuesday’s announcement will help to allay fears and restore confidence in the supported housing market.”

Find out more in the Government’s policy statement on funding for supported housing here.