The social rented sector has its annual “Starts at Home” day today when it celebrates what supported housing achieves which on the surface nothing wrong with that except the usual no more than a few dozen human interest stories alluding to represent the reality for some 700,000 who live in supported housing.
A cherry-picking of stories to allude to the overall picture is par for the course and is always an illusion and frankly a PR con trick. Yet the real bugbear is the chronic innumeracy of the demand for support funding….
The £1.6 billion per year is the central government funding for support called “Supporting People” at the point when the ring fence was removed in 2008/09 which if index-linked to CPI inflation would then have been £2.1 billion per year on its original 2003 figure of £1.8 billion per year.
In short the innumerate SRS is calling for support funding that is over £200 million per year LESS than it was in 2003. Further if we index link the original £1.8 billion pa it comes to £2.62 billion per year today. Moreover, the UK has almost 15% more population in 2021 than in 2003 [68.3m : 59.5m and 14.79%] which strongly suggests the same 14.79% more persons would require support that in turn means the support funding level would need to be £3.01 billion per year and almost double the innumerate demand of £1.6bn.
In essence the ‘great and the good’ of supported housing are saying the vulnerable who require support are worth £1.5 billion per year LESS than they were worth in 2003 some 18 years ago!!
The same ‘great and good’ are saying vulnerable persons who require housing-related support are worth some £30 million per week less than they were 18 years ago in 2003 … and the original £1.8 billion per year was fundamentally inadequate in the first place and could and should have been much higher if it reflected the housing support need back then.
In 2005/06 the Audit Commission asserted that other budgets notably social services and health saved £1.68 for every £1 paid out in support funding which would save £5.06 billion on adult social and health care is the £3.01 billion was paid by government. On the day the media is rife with what taxes are going to be raised to pay for adult social care this more than £2 billion saving realised by paying out £3.01 billion in housing-related support which has and always had a huge preventative agenda in delaying or preventing more costly and more disempowering residential care, the ‘great and good’ of “Starts at Home” have missed a significant trick in NOT selling the benefits of supported housing.
This is all too typical of the social rented sector. We see the same SRS demand capital subsidy funding for 90 – 130,000 new homes per year yet they never say for whom or any other benefit to government. The fact England alone needs at least 100,000 more 1 bedded properties each year to allow the supported housing hostel and refuge system alone to function efficiently is a case in point.
Demands of the “just give us more bloody money” type without stating why or whom this will help and without any benefits of these monetary demands being explained or rationalised to any government only reveals how much the ‘great and the good’ of the social rented sector actually do care for the lot of the housing (bricks and mortar) vulnerable and the housing (support) vulnerable!
In conclusion, the “Starts at Home” incompetent innumerates need to get their own house in order before their demands to put the housing and support vulnerable persons houses and lives in order!