Law firm Winckworth Sherwood’s Charlotte Cook says that supported housing residents are being hit hard by the introduction of the housing benefit cap.
In London alone, the National Housing Federation estimates that some 56,000 people live in supported accommodation, with over half of them older people. The NHF also estimates that supported housing residents will have to find an additional £2,600 a year, or £50 per week to cover their rent.
The Government has confirmed that the introduction of the cap on housing benefit for supported housing residents will be delayed until 2019/20. It also announced that ‘top up funding’ will be made available for local authorities to help providers where needed.
Charlotte Cook, a Partner at Winckworth Sherwood who works with extra care and supported housing providers said: “There is a real shortage of supported and extra housing in the UK and particularly in London matched with increasing life expectancies.
“Whilst the delay on the introduction of the cap is welcomed, the cap will have far reaching implications for those currently living in supported housing and for those that will need it in the future.
“Funders are increasingly nervous of investing in these schemes and developing providers have curtailed their programmes. We should be protecting not targeting those in most need in our society.”
Charlotte adds: “We are, however, encouraged to see that refuges look to be made exempt from this cap; without this exemption it would have surely meant their permanent closure.”
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