Towards a smaller state

A stocktake of the operating environment for housing associations
Kevin Williamson Head of Communities and Wellbeing National Housing Federation

Underlying social and economic drivers are powerful

These are shaping the policy response of all political parties
 Localism (and a smaller state)  Responsibility (not entitlement)  Personalisation, co-production and integration

The end of big government

Welfare Reform

Cumulative impact of changes cannot be underestimated
April 2013  Bedroom tax  Overall benefit cap  Social Fund localisation  Council Tax Benefit  Discretionary Housing Payments  Start of UC pathfinder in North West From October 2013 until 2017  Universal Credit – direct monthly payments

Policis report points to risks with achieving cultural change
    
• • •

UC requires social tenants to move away from established budgeting strategies 86% tenants believe strongly that it is better for housing benefit to be paid directly to landlord Heavy credit use is key indicator of financial distress and arrears Quarter of social tenants digitally excluded, and 24% of social tenants do not have access to necessary banking Mitigation of these significant risks should include:
Comprehensive vulnerability criteria; Flexibility not only on direct payments but also on payment periods and single household payments; and Investment in support

Health & Social Care

The new landscape is taking shape

We have been here before, but aspects of reform are promising
Social Care White Paper 2012
‘Fragmented health, housing and support are letting people down. A failure to join up also means that taxpayers’ money is not getting used as effectively as possible, and can lead to increased costs for the NHS’
Duty on local authorities to:  Ensure that adult social care and housing departments work together  Commission and provide preventative services

 Promote the integration of services


The housing system is broken

Routes into Housing for people with a learning disability
Recommendations from the MENCAP report (2011)
1. Local authorities to address the imbalance between supply and demand of suitable housing for people with a learning disability 2. Better implementation of transition planning 3. A duty on local authorities to maintain learning disability registers 4. The adoption of a national needs and outcomes assessment system 5. The introduction of assessment triggers to prevent crisis situations

6. Greater implementation of joint strategic needs assessments
7. Training social workers and social care assessors in “independent living” 8. People with a learning disability and their families/carers to have access to an independent advisor on housing

There is some positive news…
Bidding has opened for a £300 million pot aimed to help older people and adults with disabilities find affordable homes.
 The HCA will administer £240 million of the fund, while a further £60 million will be administered by the Greater London Authority.
 The fund is split into two phases, focusing on affordable housing in phase one, and market sale homes in a later second phase, and will run over five years from 2013/14.  The fund relies on councils and developers to work with health providers to identify land and resources to develop homes.  In addition to £1.8bn affordable homes programme, of which 10% must be used to deliver supported housing and housing for older people.  The deadline for phase one bids is noon on 18 January 2013.

And our members are dedicated to improving provision
Queen's Park Renewal Project
The project involved a total of seven Victorian terraced houses, purchased in the heart of the Queen's Park Conservation Area (London W10) by the Dolphin Square Foundation in 2010.
The overall aim of the project was to regenerate homes in a sustainable way to empower local adults with learning disabilities, giving them the opportunity to live independently in their own homes.

As a result, nine people are now able to live autonomous lives with freedom and choice through a unique Nominations Agreement signed by Westminster City Council, the Dolphin Square Foundation and the specialist housing and care providers Yarrow Housing.
The Dolphin Square Foundation’s challenge for the project was to work with Westminster to adapt the specification and design of the properties to ensure the project catered for people with the most complex and challenging needs. The aim was to move people away from large institutional settings, where there was little personalisation, into small scale housing with very personalised support in a local community. Care and support for tenants is provided by the National Autistic Society, the Westminster Society and Yarrow, which also provides the tenant management service for all the Queen's Park Renewal houses.


Kevin Williamson National Housing Federation 020 7067 1087

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