Joint letter to CLG select commitee on housing and support services
On 12 February 2010 The Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) and five leading umbrella organisations for supported housing services wrote a joint letter to the Communities and Local Government Select Committee.
They welcomed the Select Committee's report into Supporting People and its recommendations to maintain and maximise the benefits of support services.
CIH, Homeless Link, ROCC, HLG, Sitra and Space East welcomed the Government's firm commitment to continue providing local authorites with the details of their Supporting People allocation in the area based grant. However, the signatories to the letter raised concerns that it would be harder to retain funding for services in the future, without greater accountability of where the money is spent locally.
The letter expresses disappointment that many recommendations in the report will not be adopted and warns that the impact of this, coupled with the harsh economic climate, would put the security of valuable services at risk beyond March 2010.
It calls on central government to continue to champion the needs of the most vulnerable members of the community. The signatories to the letter caution that a lack of commitment to the governance and commissioning structures that developed around Supporting People could put at risk the quality and sustainability of services for the most vulnerable.
CIH and the five umbrella bodies emphasise that Supporting People monies constitute the largest single funding stream within area based grants. They raise the concern that LSP structures and the CAA framework are not yet sufficiently developed to identify and challenge where services to vulnerable people are at risk. The new decision making structures may not place the same emphasis on service users as Supporting People.
The letter calls on the Government to ensure that local authorities give a clear account of spending on housing related support from the money allocated to them. This should help ensure that vital services for vulnerable people are safeguarded.
The letter calls for a "more explicit and robust recognition of, and commitment to, these services for vulnerable people in both central and local government".
Signatories to the letter are:
Vic Rayner, Chief Executive, Sitra (Services)
Jenny Edwards, Chief Executive, Homeless Link
Sarah Webb, Chief Executive, CIH
Nichola Groom, Chief Executive, ROCC
Claire Grainger, Chief Executive, HLG
Tim Allard, Chief Executive, Space East