Hanover staff in our Chippenham office

Influencing policy

We work with government and other organisations to help shape policies and decisions.

Letter to Boris Johnson MP and Jeremy Hunt MP

Older people across the country have made a personal appeal to Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt, whoever becomes the next Prime Minister, to announce plans to address issues faced by Britain’s ageing population.

Social care

We work as an organisation and with other social care organisations to commission research and urge the government to demonstrate it values social care, and to improve the perception of the sector, so as to avoid the predicted shortfall of up to 1.1 million care workers by 2037. Read more.

10 Today

10 Today aims to increase physical activity amongst older people across the country, helping to reduce social isolation and improve the physical and mental wellbeing of participants – all starting with 10 minutes of exercise. Find out more.

TV licence

For many older people, television is a way to stay connected. Many fear that this decision in June 2019 to scrap TV licences for the over 75s will result in some who can't leave their home, being left without a television for company. Read our news article and Jane Ashcroft’s response. Read more.

Standing Up 4 Sitting Down

This campaign (#su4sd) is a national initiative aiming to improve people's access to seating in public areas should they need it. Find out more.

Joint response to the Government’s Green Paper on Social Housing

On 5 November 2018 Hanover and Anchor submitted a joint response to the Government’s Green Paper on Social Housing.

To help inform our response, we consulted residents from both organisations – we feel very strongly that listening to the views of our customers is key if we are to continue to improve fairness, quality and safety for everyone who lives on one of our estates.

The Green Paper proposed some fundamental reforms to help ensure social homes provide an essential, safe, well managed service for all those who need it. It had five core themes:

  1. Ensuring homes are safe and decent
  2. Effective resolution of complaints
  3. Empowering residents and strengthening the regulator
  4. Tackling stigma and celebrating thriving communities
  5. Expanding supply and supporting home ownership

There is much to be applauded in the Green Paper, particularly around things like improving services for residents, increasing supply and resolving complaints. It is certainly a step forward in the right direction, but we do want to ensure that there is sufficient focus on older people as part of the mix, especially when the UK’s population is getting older and the demand for care is ever increasing.

We have long advocated that good-quality, well-designed housing for everyone is essential if we are to take pressure off public services and instil a greater sense of community for older people. We want to provide the right environment that means residents can live independently - and happily - for much longer.

A core point of the Green Paper is to ensure residents can be more influential understanding the performance of landlords to drive improvement in services. We are keen that any new approaches introduced by the Government are focused on supporting transparency rather than producing a range of information that will not be useful to residents.

You can read our full response here.

Consultation on housing costs for sheltered and extra care accommodation

In October 2017 the government published a document that gave its future direction for the funding of supported housing. This replaced its previous proposals that had become known as the ‘LHA cap’. These proposals would have limited the Housing Benefit payable to residents to the level of the Local Housing Allowance for that area.  We campaigned hard against those proposals because they would have been very damaging for residents and put a significant part of Hanover’s income at risk.

The new proposals will introduce a ‘rent cap’ on the rent and service charge that can be charged in retirement housing and extra care housing from April 2020. Currently, only the rent element is regulated by the new Regulator for Social Housing. The new regulated sheltered rent will set the maximum amount we can charge combining the formula rent and service charges that are eligible for Housing Benefit.

Overall, our view is that:

  • The new proposals are much better than the previous LHA cap
  • There are many details on which we need clarity to understand the full impact before we are satisfied

Our submission to government can be viewed here.

Funding for supported housing

In November 2016, the Government published a consultation document ‘Funding for Supported Housing’ which outlined plans to cap Housing Benefit (HB) payments for rent and service charges at the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rate for an area. As part of this, Government has asked how the proposed funding model can be made to work.

As well as producing an individual response to the consultation, we have been working closely with Anchor and Housing & Care 21 to develop a joint submission to the Government to show decisions around social care and supported housing will impact all our futures:

Alongside this, the Work and Pensions Committee and the Communities and Local Government Committee launched a joint inquiry into the Government's funding reform for supported housing. We have submitted both an individual response and a joint submission with Anchor and Housing & Care 21: