1. The Supported Housing Programme Board is a coordinating body created to address England’s complex and dispersed responsibilities for supported housing.1NAO, 10 May 2023, ‘Investigation into Supported Housing’, HC 1318
2. The Board was set up with the intention of coordinating different Government Departments and their approach to the various issues pertaining to supported housing.
3. It aims to streamline communication and cooperation between the three central government departments involved in this area.
4. The Board includes representatives from:
- The Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) – charged with the creation of housing benefit policies. Housing Benefit is crucial in helping those on low income or who are unable to work to afford housing.
- The Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities (DLUHC) – is tasked with overseeing the supply and quality of supported housing in England. This department ensures that there are enough housing options available and that these options meet certain standards.
- the Department of Health & Social Care (DHSC).
5. The Board is jointly chaired by directors from the three departments.2‘Report by the Comptroller and Auditor General Investigation into Supported Housing (HC 1318)’
6. The fact that the DHSC is a partner enables the Board to look at overlaps between care and support to ensure that people’s needs are met in full.3‘Report by the Comptroller and Auditor General Investigation into Supported Housing (HC 1318)’
Collaboration and oversight
7. While the roles of these departments are distinct, they are highly interdependent, and the successful operation of the supported housing system relies on their effective collaboration.
8. The Supported Housing Programme Board is designed to facilitate this, helping to align policies and practices across these departments, and thereby improving the supply, quality, and value for money of supported housing in England.
9. Additionally, the Supported Housing Programme Board may act as a central hub for the involvement of other governmental organisations, like the Department for Education in the case of young people leaving the care system, and local authorities who manage Housing Benefit claims from residents in supported housing.
10. The Board has been overseeing ongoing reforms, ensuring their effectiveness, and testing implementation strategies from the perspective of each Department.
11. The Board monitors current situations and developments in supported housing, functioning as a joint programme of work.
12. It holds monthly meetings.
Ownership & forward-driving role
13. The Board is responsible for work relating to the Supported Housing (Regulatory Oversight) Act 2023 and for building upon past work on supported housing, including:
- the Supported Housing Improvement Programme (SHIP) and
- pilots run for the purpose of collecting information to improve the quality of supported housing.
14. The Board has a clear programme of work ahead of it and is focused on the quality of supported housing, as specified in its terms of reference.
15. The Board ‘owns’ this programme of work and drives it forward.
Martin Ward: 25 July 2023
Notes [ + ]