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:
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.