Presentation on theme: "Supported Accommodation A Housing Benefit perspective."— Presentation transcript:
Supported Accommodation A Housing Benefit perspective
Key priority We completely agree that: safeguarding our most vulnerable tenants during the current uncertainty should be our joint priority
Exempt Accommodation but we must have due regard to and work within the confines of the DWP HB Regulations. a complex technical area – with a significant amount of guidance, case law and regulations to consider Prompt, effective and inclusive communication is essential.
HB subsidy regime Reduced subsidy - where the landlord is a non-profit organisation but not a Registered Provider Such arrangements can and do place a significant financial strain on Borough/District councils Current cost to NBC = £300k We would expect, if at all possible, to limit any further pressures on the councils budget and that all parties work with the Borough council to this effect
DWP View Decided that supported housing costs will be met outside Universal Credit when it is introduced from October. In the interim support will be administered broadly as now through existing DWP legislation by local authorities.
DWP View In the interim it remains essential that LAs continue to carefully consider whether a person’s dwelling is: “exempt accommodation” in line with guidance previously provided DWP are not looking to cut costs, but will continue to expect costs to be questioned where they seem unreasonably high
Administrative arrangements In all cases, we should: check whether CSS is being funded locally, or by the landlord and that it is provided to the tenant directly by the landlord (or someone acting on their behalf), and check that there is a contractual responsibility for the landlord to supply this care, support or supervision itself (or to contract with someone else to act on its behalf) - we should ask for evidence of the formalised arrangements that are in place. ask how this support has been accounted for in any breakdown of rent, so that this charge can be made ineligible for HB purposes
Accommodation should be accepted as ‘exempt accommodation ’ If we are satisfied that: the landlord falls within one of the prescribed categories, i.e. county council, housing association, registered charity, or voluntary organisation, and the landlord or a person acting on its behalf is responsible for supplying care, support or supervision beyond the level of assistance that would be expected from any landlord to any tenant, and
Accommodation should be accepted as ‘exempt accommodation that the tenant has an actual or potential need for the available support which must be connected with giving of advice and assistance to the claimant in coping with the practicalities of everyday life, and the care, support or supervision is an obligation of the landlord, and there is an explanation about how much this ineligible service charge is and/ or how the cost of it is funded.
"intensive housing management " “Is this the new “grey area” where services related to the provision of adequate accommodation merge into personal support... or is this really just the same old grey area that Supporting People was supposed to have cleared up once and for all"
“Intensive Housing Management” Informal discussions with the DWP suggest that: they are yet to be convinced that "intensive housing management" isn't another name for "support" and, as such, may be ineligible for HB The DWP may well be interested in LAs having this tested in the court
The medium term From October for new UC claims - it is likely to be the DWP who decide whether a claimant is living in 'exempt accommodation' or not. The facts of the claim will be decided on the information given by the claimant and it will be they who will identify their home as being supported "exempt accommodation". Those supporting the tenant will probably be in the best position to ensure that the claimant gives the correct information when it comes to identifying the type of accommodation they live in.
The medium term The DWP may well design, develop and potentially pilot a more localised system for managing these costs. i.e. likely to be further change to contend with and therefore uncertainty about future arrangements.
Summary We recognise the importance of safeguarding our most vulnerable tenants We want to work closely with all our partners There are DWP HB rules and regulations in respect of supported accommodation and some “grey areas”. Effective and early communication is the key to preventing misunderstandings The DWP are likely to introduce a localised system in the future that may be budget limited.