Cuts Watch #212: Support for 438,000 vulnerable people
Today the National Housing Federation has published research on the impacts that a 40 per cent cut to the Supporting People programme could have. The programme aims to “provide housing related support to vulnerable people to enable them to live more independently”.
The Federation say that those who will be affected by cuts include thousands of women fleeing domestic violence, pensioners who rely on home-help support and people with mental health problems. Their research shows that a cut of 40 per cent in funding would mean almost 438,000 vulnerable people could see outreach support that enables them to lead independent lives axed, and temporary accommodation shut as a knock-on effect of spending reductions.
They also highlight that a national evaluation has estimated that the £1.6bn spent annually on housing-related support through the Supporting People programme generates savings of £3.41bn to the public purse – by intervening earlier to prevent more severe problems arising, helping people live more independently and avoiding more costly acute services.
While Supporting People grants to local authorities were not cut this year, £30 million has been removed from the administration budget for the grant. In addition, the ringfencing from the grant has been removed, allowing local authorities to decide to use the money elsewhere. Already this has led to cuts around the country, for example in East Sussex where 20 per cent cuts in funding could be made before the spending review has started to bite.