Thousands of extra homes, specially designed for people with disabilities, mental health issues and older people who need extra support, will be created over the next three years with an additional £76m a year.
This supported or specialised housing is designed to be accessible and aid independent living by having features including:
- Individual home with their own front door
- Flexibility to adapt or install equipment or assistive technology in the home
- Varying levels of personal care and support to residents, including access to GP or other health services
- Communal areas for housing for older people
Confirmation of the fund is the second major housing announcement slipped out by the government over Parliament’s summer recess – with the social housing green paper also published today (August 14).
The fund is run in partnership with Homes England for schemes outside London, and the Mayor of London for London-based schemes, who implement the programme.
Providers can bid for money through Homes England and the Mayor of London’s office to build these specially designed new homes.
Minister for Care Caroline Dinenage said the programme provided a “vital life line” for some of the most vulnerable people in society to live their own lives in a home that works for them.
“We want the fund to be used to its maximum potential so more homes can be created, more quickly, ensuring that thousands of people are supported to live independently in their own homes, benefitting both them and their carers,” she said.
The Care and Support Specialised Housing Fund (CASSH) was announced in 2012 and has been extended until 2021.
After two fixed bidding rounds were rolled out housing providers have applied for funding and already built around 3,300 specially designed new homes.
To streamline the process and enable as many schemes to get off the ground as possible, councils and housing developers will now be able to apply on a rolling basis, until all the funding has been allocated for the year.
Homes England Executive Director, Gordon More, said: “So far we have allocated over £150m to specialist housing providers to support new development for disabled and older people. Bidding for this important fund remains open with a further £125m available through Homes England over the next three years.
“We urge all specialist housing providers to consider how they can access this funding to provide new homes for vulnerable people”
James Murray, Deputy Mayor for Housing and Residential Development at the Greater London Authority, said: “The Mayor is delighted to have secured additional funding from the Government for his Care and Support Specialised Housing programme.
“This will enable us to boost the supply of much-needed homes that meet the diverse needs of Londoners – improving quality of life for the capital’s older and disabled residents and helping them to continue living independent and fulfilling lives.”
Sean Duggan, chief executive of the Mental Health Network – part of the NHS Confederation – said it had long been clear that a whole-system approach works best for people with mental health needs.
“This announcement has the potential to be a welcome piece of the puzzle.
“There is a lack of appropriate supported housing which means much-needed hospital beds are taken up by people who could be better cared for in the community.
“Long-term cuts to social care have also led to more pressure on bed numbers as the services designed to keep people healthy are simply inadequate.
“Our members, who include housing associations, are doing some fantastic work both in prevention and treating people with mental health problems but services are lacking the funding they need.
“The long term NHS investment plan is the perfect opportunity to put this right – it is vital that mental health gets its fair share of this funding,” he said.