Earlier this month the government’s plans for supported housing were announced in response to the inquiry into supported housing that I co-chaired in Parliament.
Whilst there are certainly aspects to be welcomed – in particular the designation of a new “sheltered rent” for housing for older people – there are significant disappointments and concerns too.
I am deeply concerned that the government has failed to establish a national network of women's refuges. This is the only way of guaranteeing even provision and guarding against the further erosion of services which are a lifeline for some of our most vulnerable women.
I am also very worried that the government’s approach places too much pressure on local councils at a time when their finances have been cut to the bone by seven hard years of Tory austerity.
In addition, the decision not to take up the inquiry’s recommendation to commit more grant funding to supported housing suggests the Tories are unwilling to address the shortfall in provision which was made much worse by chaotic government policy over the last year.
I will continue to hold the government to account and to articulate a different vision in which the housing needs of vulnerable people are met alongside the need for genuinely affordable homes and a properly regulated private rented sector. here
You can read my full article for LabourList on supported housing here.