CIH outlines Budget asks
The Chartered Institute of Housing has urged George Osborne to exclude supported housing from the ‘Local Housing Allowance cap’ in the March Budget.
The Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) has today published its submission to the government ahead of the Budget on 16 March.
The institute is calling for supported housing to be exempted from plans to cap housing benefit for social tenants in line with Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates, which are used to set benefit levels in the social housing sector.
The CIH’s submission points to an Inside Housing survey last month revealing 95% of supported housing providers expect to have to close some schemes as a result of the proposed change.
The CIH said: “The decision… will severely impact supported housing schemes, which provide housing and care/support to vulnerable groups such as older people, people with certain disabilities, victims of domestic violence and those affected by homelessness. Rent levels for these schemes are typically higher… than those found in general needs accommodation.”
Imposing the cap would push additional costs on to other services such as social care or the NHS, the CIH said.
The government has announced a one-year exemption for supported housing from the 1% social housing rent cut while it reviews costs. Ministers have pledged ‘protection’ for supported housing tenants from the ‘LHA cap’ but have yet to announce an exemption.
The institute also includes calls for exempting older downsizers from stamp duty and more funding from government to ensure council homes sold to fund the Right to Buy extension are replaced (see box).
CIH BUDGET SUBMISSION: KEY ASKS
- Exempt supported housing from the ‘LHA cap’
- Extra funding to replace ‘high-value’ council homes sold to fund the Right to Buy extension
- Use an accreditation scheme coupled with tax incentives to improve standards in the private rented sector
- Set up a £15m fund to help vulnerable people in the private rented sector