Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 10.35.20THE UK’s largest care and support provider has welcomed moves to delay changes which could have adversely affected tens of thousands of vulnerable people.

Supported housing providers have highlighted concerns that a planned Government cap on Local Housing Allowances (LHA) could have unintended consequences for people living in supported housing schemes.

Following today’s announcement that the cap will be postponed for 12 months Rachael Byrne, Home Group’s executive director of care and support, said: “Supported housing providers have been saying for some time that an LHA cap would result in fewer services being economically viable. We’re grateful that Government has listened to our concerns.

“However this postponement is only a stop gap solution. Government needs to move quickly to set out how services will be funded.

“We understand the need for welfare reform and we look forward to engaging with Government to make supported housing sustainable and also deliver wider value for the taxpayer.

“Government has hinted it has no intention to apply LHA to supported accommodation but housing providers can’t operate on suggestion. We need long term certainty and the people we support deserve reassurance.”

Mrs Byrne fears an introduction of LHA funding for supported housing could lead to extra financial pressures on the NHS as people turn to accident and emergency services and GPs for help they no longer receive.

She added: “Supported housing improves vulnerable people’s health and independence and helps ease the pressure on the NHS and other services. Crucially it does so at a fraction of the cost of providing the same care in a medial or clinical setting.

“One of our services for people with learning disabilities has a typical cost of £260 per week compared to a low low-level secure NHS service of £400 per bed, per day.”