Housing associations and councils to give LHA evidence to UK parliamentary committees

work and pensions committeeThe UK Parliament’s work and pensions and communities and local government committees will hear from housing associations and local authorities today on the UK government’s planned shake-up of supported housing funding.

The sessions form part of the committees’ joint inquiry into the future of supported housing.

The inquiry is examining the planned changes for 2019-20, when core rent and service charges for supported housing will be funded through Housing Benefit or Universal Credit up to the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rate. For costs above this, funding will go to local authorities for disbursement locally.

During the first session the committees will consider whether the proposals reflect the challenges that housing associations face.

The housing association representatives John Glenton, executive director of care and support, Riverside Group; Charlotte Norman, chief executive, St Vincent’s Housing Association and Frank Czarnowski, chief executive, West Kent Housing Association, will also be asked how they help tenants move back into general needs accommodation and whether the benefits system discourages those in long-term supported housing from getting a job.

The following session will see Councillor Viv Kendrick, Kirklees Council; Councillor Rebecca Rennison, London Borough of Hackney and Liz Slater, service lead – assessment, planning and options, Southampton City Council give evidence on the government’s plans to devolve top-up funding to local authorities and how local allocations should be determined. The witnesses will also be asked how much leeway town halls should have in the administration of the top-up fund and whether they need more resources and expertise to take on the responsibility.

The sessions take place from 3.45pm and can be view here.