Local councils are set to be given funding to improve the standard of supported housing. Housing Industry Leaders looks at how this funding will support vulnerable tenants and help the UK Government drive up standards.
As part of the plan to improve the standard of housing in the UK, tenants living in poor-quality supported housing who receive little to no support from the providers will soon see significant improvements.
More than £6 million in funding from the UK Government’s Supported Housing Improvement Programme will be provided to councils in Birmingham, Blackburn with Darwen, Blackpool, and Hull.
Supporting Housing Needs To Provide Tenants With Skills And Confidence
Supported housing helps vulnerable tenants by providing accommodation, care, support, or supervision for those who may have experienced homelessness, mental health issues, or domestic abuse.
Schemes providing supported housing should provide tenants with the skills and confidence to enter longer-term accommodation and be able to live more independent lives.
Minister for Rough Sleeping, Eddie Hughes, said: “While there are many excellent supported housing providers in the market, we know there are a minority that are shamelessly taking advantage of vulnerable residents, and we are committed to ending this practice.
“This funding will allow Birmingham, Blackburn with Darwen, Blackpool, and Hull to build on their successful pilot schemes.”
This work is already benefitting local communities by tackling poor practice and improving conditions for vulnerable tenants.
Delivering Value For Money Is Essential
The UK Government has said it is aware of the fact that there are some instances of landlords providing unacceptable standards of support, whilst charging ‘extortionate’ rents.
Cllr Lynn Williams, Leaders of Blackpool Council, said: “We have developed clear pathways for providers that enable them to understand what is needed in Blackpool and enables the development of schemes in the right place for the right people delivering value for money for the public purse.
“The funding that has been announced today gives us the opportunity to build on these strong foundations and really take forward our work with both providers and people who benefit from supported housing to ensure that the standards are embedded consistently, and we support the development of schemes that help people maintain and increase their independence.”
We are unapologetic about offering not only support but challenge the market to make sure that the supported housing schemes in Blackpool deliver great outcomes.
Providers Who Don’t Meet Standards Will Face Action
With councils having the power to issue penalty charge notices, prohibition orders that can stop part or all the building being used or prosecute those who provide accommodation at such a low standard that poses a risk to the health and safety of residents, providers who fail to live up to the standards set will face action.
It all follows the successful pilots in the four councils that are being given this funding, with the pilot schemes supporting them to carry out over 1,000 inspections of supported housing properties.