Independence...Integrity...Value

Blog 30th January 2017

Jan 30th, 10:32

Blog 30th January 2017

We have just launched our seminars on: ‘The Future Funding of Supported Housing’.

 

The Government is planning to change the way in which Supported Housing is funded with housing benefit and universal credit supporting only core housing costs and housing support services being funded separately. At present, tenants are eligible to claim housing benefit, but eligibility is to be capped at local housing allowance rates from 2019 and the same approach is to be taken with Universal Credit. At the same time, new locally administered schemes will be introduced to ‘top-up’ the funding that is required to fund housing support. The Government states that it is committed to protecting and boosting the supply of supported housing and ensuring it provides value for money and works for those who use it as well as those who pay for it. The government announced its plans in September 2016 and issued a consultation paper in November 2016. A Green Paper will be issued in the Spring of 2017.

 

This seminar will explain and examine the government’s proposals and their implications for local authorities, housing associations and their tenants. This will include local authorities in their commissioning and provider roles. It is designed for people who are not experts in housing finance, but who understand the basics. It is suitable for councillors, board members, housing managers, tenant representatives, finance staff and others with an interest in the future funding of supported housing.

 

The session will consider the following questions:

  • What is the Government trying to achieve?
  • What will be the eligibility for Housing Benefit and Universal Credit in Supported Housing?
  • How will the locally administered budgets for Housing Support work?
  • What are the implications for the development of new Supported Housing schemes?
  • What are the Financial Opportunities and Threats for Supported Housing in Local Authorities and Housing Associations?

The session is accompanied by a very useful hundred-page book that is designed for reference after the session.

There will be a session in London on 4th April and another in Leeds on 3rd May. The price is £250 plus £50 VAT, total £300 in London; and £195 plus £39 VAT, total £234 in Leeds.

 

For more information or to make a booking please click HERE

 

I have just been reading the ‘European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill’. It is remarkably short and could probably be sent as a Tweet or written on the side of a bus! However, what I find most disturbing is the section in the government’s explanatory note that is entitled ‘Financial Implications of the Bill’. This consists solely of the following statement:

 

“The Bill is not expected to have any financial implications.”

 

When I worked in local government as an accountant and ultimately as Director of Finance, one of my responsibilities was to identify the financial implications of proposals in committee reports and to ensure that they were fully explained in the ‘financial implications’ section of the report. Usually this was not problematical, but there were occasions when Councillors, Chief Executives or other senior officers wanted financial implications to be concealed or couched in particular terms. These were occasions when it was necessary to ‘speak truth to power’ and insist that all financial implications including financial risks were fully explained to Members and placed on the public record.

 

Clearly, Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union will have significant financial implications and risks; and I hope that someone in Whitehall will set them out soon.

 

Our next seminar is on ‘All You Want to Know about Service Charges in Social Housing’ and will be held in London in 15th February. For more information or to make a booking please click HERE


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