Opinion Former Article

NHF: Federation welcomes findings of CLG Select Committee

The National Housing Federation has today (Tuesday 3 November) welcomed the call by the CLG Select Committee for the protection of housing-related services for the most vulnerable, funded through the Supporting People programme.

The committee, which today reported on its inquiry into the Supporting People programme, said that CLG must show how much money it provides for the programme within each local area-based grant, and that local authorities should then show how the grant had been spent.

The committee also endorsed many of the concerns raised by the Federation about the delivery of the programme, following the Government's decision to remove the ring fence from the Supporting People grant.

Federation assistant director Helen Williams, who appeared before the committee in June, said today: "We are delighted that the committee endorsed our call that the allocation of the Supporting People grant must be clear for all to see - and that local authorities must account for how they spend the money.

"CLG would do well to listen to these recommendations and show the leadership demanded by the committee. The department must now also make an early commitment to keeping Supporting People as a named pot."

Ms Williams praised the committee for highlighting the benefits of the programme, which has invested £1.6bn a year in housing-related support and other services to vulnerable groups. She said the committee was right to highlight in his report concerns about the way services are currently being commissioned.

She said: "We commend the committee for calling for a more intelligent commissioning in order to ensure genuine value for money and avoid a narrow focus on driving down costs.

"The committee clearly saw the wasted resources in the constant tendering and retendering in short-term contracts and the particular risk that poses to providing supported housing."

She added: "We are also pleased the committee suggested that health and adult social services take into account the requirement for housing-related support, when assessing the needs of the local population. And we would urge CLG to work with the Department of Health in strengthening guidance in this area."

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The National Housing Federation represents 1,200 independent, not-for-profit housing associations in England and is the voice of affordable housing. Our members provide two and a half million affordable homes for more than five million people.

The National Housing Federation and its members have launched iN business for neighbourhoods as a major initiative to raise the profile of, and promote, the neighbourhood work of housing associations. For further information visit: this website.

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