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Government pledges cash to support people to live independently

Words: Laura Edgar
Adaptive and flexible housing / iStock-516174996

The government has announced that thousands of extra homes designed for people with disabilities, mental health issues and older people who need extra support will be created over the next three years with an additional £76 million a year.

The supported or specialised housing will be designed to be accessible and aim to aid independent living, with the money coming from the Care and Support Specialised Housing Fund (CASSH).

It was first announced in 2012 and has been extended to 2021.

As well as offering people a home “with their own front door,” the money will go towards:

  • flexibility to adapt or install equipment or assistive technology in the home;
  • varying levels of personal care and support to residents, including access to GP or other health services; and
  • communal areas, for older people’s housing.

Care minister Caroline Dinenage said: “No one should have to go into a residential home or get stuck in hospital because of a lack of specialised housing adapted to suit their needs. This programme provides a vital lifeline for some of the most vulnerable people in society to live their own lives in a home that works for them.

“We want the fund to be used to its maximum potential so more homes can be created, more quickly, ensuring that thousands of people are supported to live independently in their own homes, benefiting both them and their carers.”

The fund is run in partnership with Homes England for schemes outside London, and with the Mayor of London for schemes based in the capital.

Two fixed bidding rounds have been held under the fund, with housing providers using the money to build approximately 3,300 specially designed homes. Now, local authorities and housebuilders will be able to apply for funding on a rolling basis until all of the funding has been allocated for the year.

Gordon More, executive director at Homes England, said: “So far we have allocated over £150 million to specialist housing providers to support new development for disabled and older people. Bidding for this important fund remains open, with a further £125 million available through Homes England over the next three years. We urge all specialist housing providers to consider how they can access this funding to provide new homes for vulnerable people.”

James Murray, deputy mayor for housing and residential development at the Greater London Authority, added that the money would enable the mayor and his team “to boost the supply of much-needed homes that meet the diverse needs of Londoners – improving quality of life for the capital’s older and disabled residents and helping them to continue living independent and fulfilling lives”.

Image credit | iStock