Care plans include cash for more supported housing
The government has pledged to inject £200 million into the supported housing market, ahead of the publication of the social care white paper later this week.
Health secretary Andrew Lansley said the five-year fund will help provide 6,000 homes for elderly and disabled people to help them remain independent for longer.
But the announcement came as the government faced criticism from campaigners over its failure to commit to funding a cap on care costs for individuals.
A government progress report on funding care to be published alongside the white paper supports the recommendation of a review of services in England to limit the amount any individual must contribute in principle.
But it will say that a decision on the viability of the policy will not be made until the next spending review in 2013/14, meaning reform is unlikely to happen until after the next election.
In a report published last year, economist Andrew Dilnot suggested the introduction of a £35,000 care cap for individuals – a scheme that would cost the government £1.7 billion a year.
Mr Dilnot also suggested that people with assets of up to £100,000, rather than £23,000, should qualify for taxpayer help. A government response to the report was due last autumn but has been delayed over affordability concerns.
Mr Lansley said: ‘We want to see more supported housing built - so people can live in adapted homes independently.
‘Demand for supported housing will increase as a growing proportion of people over 65 are homeowners. It makes sense for us to bolster the housing market so we have more suitable housing in the next few years.’
Amy Swan, policy officer at the National Housing Federation, said: ‘A good social care system helps people live independently and avoid more intensive and expensive stays in hospital or care homes. To achieve that we need to make sure those who need support are living in homes that are adapted to their needs, and are getting the right care and support services.
‘The care and support white paper needs to encourage local government and the NHS to pool budgets, bring staff together and recognise the pivotal role housing plays in helping more people live independently and receive better personalised care.’