Sheltered housing ‘hit by advantage cuts’

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Hundreds of designed new easeful accommodation units have been behind or scrapped overdue to due cuts to housing benefit, a BBC has learned.

Several housing associations have pronounced they are no longer financially viable.

The flats, for a aged or people with training disabilities, are some-more costly to build and run since they yield additional support.

Ministers contend they are reviewing a easeful housing zone “to safeguard it works in a best approach possible”.

The National Housing Federation (NHF) has calculated that scarcely 2,500 units have so distant been scrapped or behind as easeful housing providers face losing an normal of £68 a week per tenant.

David Orr, arch executive of a NHF, told a BBC: “There is genuine impact now.

“New homes for people with support needs – exposed people – that would be being built have been cancelled.”

BBC News has oral to 4 housing associations who reliable their skeleton had indispensable to change:

  • Southdown Housing in East Sussex scrapped skeleton for 18 units for people with training disabilities
  • Knightstone Housing in Somerset has behind a formidable of 65 homes for a aged and 13 properties for learning-disabled people
  • In Manchester, Contour Homes has had to put on reason a intrigue to build 36 units for a elderly
  • In North Yorkshire, Harrogate Neighbours has behind construction of 55 additional caring flats

The changes – announced in Chancellor George Osborne’s Autumn Statement – will pierce housing advantage rates for amicable housing in line with a sums paid to landlords in a private sector.

Mr Osborne pronounced a move, that will impact England, Scotland and Wales, would broach assets of £225m by 2020-21, and is partial of a £12bn package of cuts from a gratification bill.

The top includes easeful housing, that is some-more costly to yield due to a additional support on offer – anything from canteens to round-the-clock caring staff.

The advantage will not indeed be cut until Apr 2018 though it will impact people signing new tenancies from this April.

‘We couldn’t usually catch that’

At one easeful housing formidable in Harrogate, a need for new growth is transparent – there is usually one lift and a corridors are narrow.

“We need to move,” pronounced proprietor Frank Forkes. “It’s really cramped. If a lift breaks down, it’s disharmony since you’ve people upstairs in wheelchairs.”

The housing organization has spent 8 years building skeleton for a new formidable a integrate of miles away.

But following a government’s proclamation in November, a house of Harrogate Neighbours behind a scheme. Under a new rules, they will remove £100,000 per annum on it.

“As an organization we have to be positively certain that we can means to broach all a services. And during a moment, it’s not viable,” arch executive Sue Cawthray said.

The consequences of a advantage cuts are even worse for Contour Homes in Manchester.

“We mount to remove – over a march of a 40-year life cycle of a growth – if things stay as they are, £3.35m. As an organisation, we couldn’t usually catch that,” executive of patron services Chris Langan said.

Labour described a housing advantage cut as a “catastrophe for those who can slightest means it”.

But a orator for a Department for Work and Pensions said: “We’ve always been transparent that we value a work a upheld accommodation zone does to strengthen a many exposed members of society.

“That’s because we are carrying out a consummate review, operative with a sector, to safeguard that it works in a best approach probable – that is what a NHF has asked for.

“We are also providing councils with £870m of Discretionary Housing Payments that can be paid to people in upheld accommodation.”