Click here to skip to content

Welfare Reform on the Web (January 2012): Social housing - UK

Feeling Settled Project: guide for those involved in changing a service from residential care home to supported living where the people stay in the same place

S. Strong and C. Hall

Bath: National Development Team for Inclusion, 2011

This report sets out several good practice recommendations for how to change residential care for people with learning difficulties into supported living accommodation. It is concluded that personalising support for people already living in care homes requires creative thinking about how to offer realistic choices of how and where they want to live. By adopting a project management approach and identifying pathfinders and pathways, providers can increase the rights, choices and control of service users.

Independence - at a price

M. Garboden

Community Care, Nov. 24th 2011, p. 22-24

Supported living can allow people with learning disabilities to lead more fulfilled lives, but there are questions about the viability and value of these placements. In the first place, service users relying on benefits to pay rent can be priced out of their preferred residence if they start to work, because certan benefits are removed when an individual gains employment. Cuts to local housing allowance, the benefit paid to people in private rented accommodation, has reduced choice further. Problems with housing affordability have forced people to move out of familiar areas in search of cheaper accommodation. Disputes between councils over who should pay for placements pose another challenge to people who wish to remain in a certain area when moving out of residential care. Finally, there are concerns that certain organisations are offering 'sham tenancies' and claiming to be supported living services when they are actually providing residential care.

Mortgage curbs mean fewer loans for the over-50s

H. Watt

Daily Telegraph, Dec. 19th 2011, p. 1 + 2

Following a review of the mortgage market, the Financial Services Authority published plans to stop irresponsible lending. Under the proposals, loans would only be advanced when there was a reasonable expectation that the borrower would be able to repay. The ability to repay could not be reliant on house prices rising. The rules also put an end to self-certification mortgages and 'fast-tracked' mortgages, an accelerated process under which verification of income might not be requested.

The Right to Buy, the leaseholder and the impoverishment of ownership

H. Carr

Journal of Law and Society, vol.38, 2011, p. 519-541

The council tenant's Right to Buy, introduced by Margaret Thatcher and endorsed by New Labour, is one of the most successful schemes devised to extend home ownership to those otherwise excluded. This article focuses on some of the most marginal owner-occupiers, those who purchased local authority flats on long leases, and the difficulties they face when their freeholders present them with large service charge demands generated as a result of repair and improvement works, particularly works carried out under New Labour's Decent Homes Initiative. It is concluded that, despite the allure of home ownership, not all home owners are equal, and that the democratisation of ownership has exposed the stratification inherent in it. Indeed, the promise of inclusion through property ownership has proved hollow for some Right to Buy leaseholders, who have been impoverished rather than enriched.

Search Welfare Reform on the Web