Funding for Supported Housing…in the words of Liam Gallagher

I am bit of a ‘Johnny come lately’ when it relates to appreciation of Liam Gallagher’s song-writing and singing abilities.  However, having read the government’s Funding for Supported Housing Response to two consultations, I am amazed by ‘our kid’s’ understanding of our funding journey and its outcome.

Calling his latest album ‘As you were’ – did he know something we didn’t?  With the announcement on August 9th, that funding would continue via the welfare system, we  seem to have returned to the position we were in 2015, before George Osborne announced the application of the LHA cap.

The ‘Bold’ government consultation paper launched in October 2017 tried hard to identify a funding framework that would help sheltered tenants judge ‘For What It’s Worth’ when it came to their rent and service charges. Campbell Tickell were not the only ones to see the proposals as a ‘Paper Crown’, criticising it for not identifying the right funding mechanism to tackle ‘When I’m In Need’ for vulnerable people.

Value for money

The underlying implication of the 2017 proposals suggested that providers of supported housing had a ‘Greedy Soul’. They were not providing value for money to the public purse or quality provision for those in need.

The proposals for short-term services were seen by many in the sector as a ‘Wall of Glass’.  A seemly straightforward solution that presented a clear barrier to future provision, given the dire straights that local authority funding is increasingly in. Recently two council’s stating they will only be funding areas that are legal responsibilities.  As we all know, supported housing has never been on a statutory footing in the same way that social care has been.

The proposals were not a ‘Universal Gleam’ for anyone with sheltered and extra care providers, or short-term services providers and working-age adult long-term services, finding something to make them think – ‘You Better Run’.

Government response

The Government proposals were out for consultation from October 2017, with the Government saying ‘Come Back to Me’ by January 23rd 2018.  Many of us did – well, 304 responded for sheltered and extra care, and 434 for short-term. Then we waited, working hard to make our case. Any provider asked how they were coping with the funding uncertainty would say – ‘I Get By’.

Finally the Government responded to our replies to the consultation. I don’t know about you but in terms of making a good decision for the future of supported housing – ‘I’ve all I Need’.

It’s no ‘Chinatown’ during a New Year celebration, but the Government Response does offer to work with the sector on developing ‘a sound and robust oversight regime’ addressing quality and value for money.  The Government wants to look again at the inter-relationship between housing-related support and housing. So -‘Definitely Maybe’, we could be standing on the ‘Shoulders of Giants’ with the next iteration of quality and value for money regimes in supported housing services –  as long we can learn from previous experiences.

Liz Zacharias is a Senior Consultant at Campbell Tickell leading on our work in care and support. For more information or to discuss this article, please contact: liz@campbelltickell.com