Social housing recognised in new Social Care White Paper

02 December 2021

The NHF has welcomed the government’s launch of a wide ranging 10 year vision for Social Care, People at the Heart of Care, which includes the three-year funding plans from April, a significant commitment to housing related spending and recognition of the need to ‘[make] every decision about care a decision about housing’. There is also welcome recognition of the care and support workforce as ‘our biggest asset’ and that this workforce includes staff in supported and sheltered housing.

The long awaited white paper acknowledges that:

‘Too many people with care and support needs live in homes that do not provide a safe or stable environment, within which care and support can be effective... Some peoples’ care and support needs mean that specialised housing is likely to offer the best option for them. Projected demand for supported housing in England is estimated to increase by 125,000 by 2030, and we therefore want to provide more people with this option. However, we recognise that most people will continue to live in mainstream housing, and we need to ensure they can adapt their homes to meet their needs where necessary... we want people, wherever they live, to have choice over their housing arrangements – whether that is a new home or their existing home, purpose designed or not, and with access to the adaptations or technologies’

Key principles on housing and care are set out:

  • People at the heart of care to ensure local areas ‘think housing and community’ when they plan and deliver services.
  • Using the full potential of technology to support people’s lives and aspirations.
  • Building a system that can develop and adopt new ways of providing care and support to people at scale. This means ensuring that local areas have the ambition, culture and capability to embed innovation, as well as the provider market being well equipped to help deliver this change.
  • Focusing on prevention and health promotion to support people to live healthier lives for longer.

Investment commitments

  • At least £300m over the next three years to ‘embed the strategic commitment in all local places to connect housing with health and care and drive the stock of new supported housing’. This new investment will ‘focus on boosting the supply of specialist housing and funding improved services for residents’ and government wants to see this money stimulating a positive cycle of further innovation and private investment.
  • At least £150m of additional funding over the next three years to drive digitisation across the sector, and unlock the potential of caretech innovation that enables preventative care and independent living.
  • £570m per year for Disabled Facilities Grants (DFGs). This is a reduction on the 2021-22 budget of £573m.
  • Launch a £30m Innovative Models of Care Programme to support local systems to build the culture and capability to embed into the mainstream innovative models of care. This will work for a changing population with more options for people that suit their needs and circumstances.
  • Fund a new service to make minor repairs and changes in people’s homes, to help people remain independent and safe.
  • Continue to invest in the Care and Support Specialised Housing (CASSH) fund with £210m available for the period 2022-23 to 2024-25. CASSH provides capital funding for specialist housing for people with long term needs.

The white paper marks a new starting point for discussion and partnership between all levels of government, the NHS and housing providers on how to give people housing choice and deliver services focussed on keeping people independent and in control. The recognition of the importance of services alongside accessible buildings is really important.

The NHF has long argued and presented evidence on the importance revenue funding for supported housing. We will continue to work with our members to promote the value of supported housing and work collectively to understand and breakdown the barriers of delivery.

Who to speak to

Sue Ramsden, Policy Leader