How the Proposed LHA cap affects supported housing
Around the country thousands of vulnerable people live in supported housing, often with the general public not even being aware of it. These homes provide additional features or services that allow vulnerable individuals to live in a safe, independent environment that meets their needs.
Government plans announced in the autumn statement and progressing through Parliament now will increase the living costs for these vulnerable people and threaten the viability of most supported housing. If the plans go through, the average saha supported housing resident will need to find an extra £119* per week to stay in the accommodation that provides the help and support they need.
What is LHA?
Local Housing Allowance (LHA) has been applied to the private rented sector for some time; it limits the amount of rent that government will pay for someone needing assistance with their rent.
The Government now intends to apply it to social housing too. Most social housing rents tend to be lower than the local private market. However social housing providers, like saha, also provide supported housing for vulnerable people. To meet their needs, supported housing and services usually have special features that necessitate a higher rent. By applying the LHA to social housing, vulnerable residents will not get sufficient help to cover the costs of the supported housing they need.
What are the consequences?
For thousands of the most vulnerable people in our society it could mean the difference between having a roof over their head and being out on the street. These include homelessness people, young people, homeless families, and people living with disabilities, mental health and other conditions. We believe everyone has the right to a safe, stable and secure home and this change puts that under serious threat.
Independent studies have shown that the additional cost of supported housing reduces other areas of public spending such as health, emergency services and criminal justice and leads to more long term positive outcomes for vulnerable individuals.
We’re urging MPs to discuss the future funding model for the housing sector and you can play your part too.
If, like us, you think that these proposals are unfair and unacceptable please contact your local MP and let them know how you feel.
Want to help get the message to MPs?
(*£119 is the average that people will have to pay. This figure is worked out taking into account all of the supported housing that Salvation Army Housing Association currently manage).