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Welfare Reform on the Web (September 2001): Social Housing - UK

ASSESSING THE HEALTH IMPACT OF AGE-SPECIFIC HOUSING

P. Kingston

Health and Social Care in the Community, vol. 9, 2001, p. 228-234

It has been claimed that "retirement communities" combine the best attributes of residential and community living. Subjective health status may thereby be improved through a culture in which independence and autonomy are actively promoted. This study, conducted over a 12-month time period, found that, when compared to older people living in the local neighbourhood, the retirement community population maintained their physical and mental health. Investigation of these findings indicated that peer support, safety/security and autonomy with inclusion were key factors in maintaining health status.

FUNDING SUPPORTED ACCOMMODATION

M. Bolton

Mental Health and Learning Disabilities Care, vol. 4, 2001, p. 350-351

Describes arrangements for implementing the new system for funding the support element of supported housing. Local authorities are expected to develop an implementation strategy following a consultation exercise and a project to map the need for, and supply of, support services in their area. All existing services will be reviewed within three years and awarded a service agreement if found to be satisfactory. Official guidance also describes arrangements for commissioning new services. Commissioning agencies must offer providers stable contracts, encouragement to continuously improve their services, and agreed performance targets.

KEEPING IT IN THE COUNCIL

D. Blackman

Public Finance, Jun 29-Jul 5 2001, p. 24-25

Discusses the three options open to local authorities in England who want extra resources to repair and maintain their housing set out in last years housing green paper: large-scale voluntary transfer to a housing association, a Private Finance Initiative deal or an arm's length company.

LIFE SUPPORT SYSTEM

D. Gilliver

Housing, June 2001, p. 33-35

The Supporting People programme aims to replace the present funding arrangements for housing-related support services with a single budget administered by local authorities. It will bring together all the disparate funding streams and create a coherent framework of support irrespective of type of accommodation or tenure. However, funding will be limited and there is concern that local authorities will not have the resources to fund all current providers, with the more controversial schemes losing out. There are also fears that the new system will generate a massive and unwieldy bureaucracy.

SOCIAL HOUSING IN RURAL AREAS

M. Bevan et al

Chartered Institute of Housing, 2001

Focuses on the state of affordable housing provision in rural areas. Recognises that rural communities are not homogenous, with some settlements retaining a high proportion of affordable housing. However these communities tend to be in areas where the local economy is depressed. The majority of the six settlements upon which the report is based are characterised by shortages of affordable housing for local people due to:

  • the high proportion of housing purchased under the Right to Buy;
  • a large number of recent in-migrants;
  • a substantial proportion of people of retirement age;
  • a large amount of holiday accommodation.
Report also acknowledges the problems faced by housing associations in providing social housing in rural areas.

WEBB SIGHT

E. Hawkey

Housing, June 2001, p. 26-29

Introduces Sarah Webb who is in charge of a new task force tasked with assisting local authorities, tenants and acquiring registered social landlords through the process of housing stock transfer.

YOU'VE ONLY JUST BEGUN ...

M. Britton

Housing, June 2001, p. 46-47

Neighbourhood Compacts are agreements between the local authority Housing Department, with or without other local service providers, and a particular tenants' association. They can vary in the level of service detail specified from identifying general priorities to setting detailed objectives. They can be established in response to local concerns but are also a useful tool to encourage tenants' participation in decision making.