Sheffield Hallam research on supported housing

Commissioning Bodies

1. The DLUHC is aware of the limits of the available data on supported housing in England. It has commissioned Sheffield Hallam University’s Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research (CRESR) to provide a current understanding of the supported housing sector. Funding from the DWP has extended this research to include Scotland and Wales. The research
is due to be finalised by November 2023.1NAO, 10 May 2023, HC 1318, ‘Investigation into Supported Housing’ para 2.22 

Purpose of the research

2. This research aims to provide up-to-date data for informed governmental decisions related to supported housing.

3. The research will assess the size, cost and demand of the supported housing sector. It will cover supported housing across England, Scotland and Wales.2‘LA Welfare Direct 4/2023’ (GOV.UK), para 11, accessed 9 August 2023

4. This research follows up on the 2016 Supported Accommodation Review.3‘Supported Accommodation Review’ (GOV.UK), 21 November 2016 accessed 9 August 2023

A mixed-method approach to the research

5. Sheffield Hallam University will use a mixed-method approach:4‘LA Welfare Direct 4/2023’ (GOV.UK), para 13, accessed 9 August 2023

  1. Analysis of secondary data.
  2. Surveys targeting:
    1. local authority Housing Benefit teams,
    2. supported housing commissioners, and
    3. supported housing providers
  3. In-depth case studies involving providers, local authorities, and county councils.5‘LA Welfare Direct 4/2023’ (GOV.UK), para 13, accessed 9 August 2023

Supported housing provider survey.

6. A survey for providers was distributed in early May 2023. Supported housing providers were encouraged to participate by the NHF.6DLUHC and DWP Commission New Research on Supported Housing’ (National Housing Federation), accessed 9 August 2023 

7. For those interested in contributing to the research, the deadline was extended to 30 June 2023.

8. Additionally, there was an opportunity for providers to offer in-depth insights via discussions or participation in a case study.

9. All provided information is expected to be treated confidentially, with data anonymised in all reports.7‘Supported Accommodation Review Research Study: Privacy Notice’ (GOV.UK) , accessed 9 August 2023

Housing Benefit Team survey and Supported Housing Commissioner survey

10. DWP sent the links for the Housing Benefit Team survey and Supported Housing Commissioner survey via their Single Point of Contact within local authorities on 22nd March.  One survey was for the Housing Benefit Team and the other was for the Supported Housing Commissioner. These links were sent to be shared share it with the right people. 

Expected results from the research

11. The research is expected to: 8‘Supported Accommodation Review Research Study: Privacy Notice’ (GOV.UK) , accessed 9 August 2023

  1. Determine the size and composition of the supported housing sector:
    1. by units of accommodation and schemes,
    2. broken down by:
      1. ownership type,
      2. building characteristics, and
      3. service delivery characteristics
  2. Understand the costs associated with the provision of supported housing:
    1. analyse costs of current schemes by:
      1. rent,
      2. service charges, and
      3. care and support components
    2. evaluate the cost of developing new schemes by type and location,
    3. study barriers and best practices in developing new schemes.
  3. Gauge the current and future demand for supported housing versus supply:
    1. understand demand as perceived by local authorities and modelled projections,
    2. analyse by:
      1. client groups,
      2. scheme types, and
      3. preferences of current/prospective residents.
  4. Investigate the interactions:
    1. between local commissioners and supported housing providers and health and care organisations where relevant,
    2. qualitative analysis of the interaction between supported housing providers and local authority departments overseeing housing benefit claim assessments and decisions.
  5. Improve Monitoring mechanisms, i.e. :
    1. consider ways central government can systematically collect data to monitor the supported housing sector, and
    2. optimise the use of existing local and national data systems.

Future updates

12. The commissioning departments recognise that a single snapshot isn’t sufficient and that there is a need for ongoing data updates. Provisions within the Supported Housing (Regulatory Oversight) Act 2023 enable the ongoing update of the position established by the research. 

13. The Act requires local housing authorities to:9‘Supported Housing (Regulatory Oversight) Act 2023’, s 2, accessed 10 August 2023 

  1. regularly review supported exempt accommodation in their area; and
  2. publish a “supported housing strategy” on a five-year cycle.

14. The “supported housing strategy” must include the local housing authority’s assessment of:

  1. the level of provision of supported exempt accommodation in its area;
  2. the projected need for it in the next five years – beginning with the date on which the strategy is published.

15. The Secretary of State also has the power to require additional information to be included in the strategy.

16. The Sheffield Hallam research results are expected to provide a good baseline for the five-year reviews that local authorities are required to carry out under the Act. 

Further Details

17. For more information or to engage in a deeper aspect of the research, providers can reach out to Christina Beatty at‘LA Welfare Direct 4/2023’ (GOV.UK), para 18, accessed 10 August 2023 

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