I welcome the government’s decision not to change the way specialist supported housing schemes are funded

The government is not to go ahead with changes in the way that specialist supported housing schemes are funded. I have written extensively about this on this blog since 2016.  We are talking about women’s refuges and all specialist homelessness, mental health and alcohol and drug residential services including all those provided through BHT’s residential services.

The original proposals were slipped in, almost unnoticed, in George Osborn’s Autumn Statement in 2015.  Initially, there was almost no reaction from housing organisations. I say “initially” because BHT saw the risk to services for hundreds of thousands of society’s most vulnerable men and women.

We did an analysis of the proposals, which were technically quite complex, and I was on Channel 4 News shortly after the announcement was made to explain its dire consequences.

The government then tried to amend the proposals a couple of times, most recently last autumn, but on each occasion the consequences were shown to be equally disastrous as the previous proposals.

But this morning, at just after midnight, the government quietly announced that there would be no change.

I am grateful to the Minister, Justin Tomlinson, for his announcement. But over the last two and half years, because of the uncertainty caused by George Osborn, investment in new specialist supported housing schemes practically dried up.

But today, the announcement that nothing will change, is the best news in a long time from government!

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