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:
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.
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:
Our submission to government can be viewed here.
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: