Housing is to play a centre role in combatting the social care crisis.
Sources have told 24housing that senior policy makers including those in No.10 are looking at a variety of housing-led initiatives that will get them around the funding hole they currently find themselves in.
Much of this is reportedly being led by former Homes England man Sir Edward Lister, who is now Boris Johnson’s Chief of Staff.
The delay of the Social Care Green Paper has been widely reported and criticised in public, but 24housing understands that the paper is written and has been circulated to key players in the sector bar one chapter: Funding.
To get around this, ministers are proposing to cut straight from a Green Paper to a White Paper and set out a series of proposals, including a significantly enhanced role for Retirement Communities and specialist housing.
This would allow government to release a policy paper on Social Care without putting any funding forward.
Bruce Moore, Chief Executive at Housing 21, said the news was “a positive move forward”.
ARCO, the trade body representing the housing with care for older people have told 24housing they have written to Boris Johnson’s Chief of Staff, Sir Edward Lister, about introducing a Retirement Communities Bill that would seek to introduce a standard to the sector and drive development of these schemes.
There are also discussions ongoing about a Private Members Bill being introduced along the same lines, with the government thought likely to give it its backing if properly scrutinised by parliament.
Michael Voges, Executive Director of ARCO said: “Our sector is set to account for three quarters of growth in older people’s housing in the years ahead and is set to invest over £40bn.
“We are keen to play our role in tackling the social care and housing crises and welcome this increased interest in our sector.
“We know that sector specific legislation is needed to protect residents’ rights and to ensure that operators are held to high standard. This will also give confidence to major investors to invest further in the UK.”
Bruce Moore, Chief Executive at Housing 21, added: “We welcome any policy development which recognises the fundamental importance of appropriate housing.
“People can live better if they have appropriate housing where they feel safe and secure and housing can also play a vital role in providing suitable, accessible and supportive environment to facilitate the delivery of good quality care resulting in the best possible outcomes for individuals.
“In addressing the ongoing crisis in social care the integration of housing into this White Paper is a positive move forward and Housing 21 looks forward to doing more to helping to deliver a fair care system which ensures quality for all and has individuals at its core.”