Baroness Stroud of Fulham chairs roundtable about housing care and support at Arlington

    On 25 July, along with Home Group, we hosted a roundtable discussion called ‘Taxpayer value: the case for housing care & support’ on why housing care and support is so important, and why it’s vital for the public purse that it is properly funded in the future.

    It comes at a time when the government is considering capping the local housing allowance, which would affect our ability to build more extra care schemes. A decision on the proposal has been delayed until the autumn, following a government review, and this has provided an opportunity to work with our partners in the housing and health service sectors to define and propose an alternative funding model, and influence the final decision.

    The discussion, between our own Kevin Beirne, Group Director, Housing Care & Support, and Rachael Byrne, Executive Director of Care & Support at Home Group, took place at our homeless hostel Arlington, and was chaired by Baroness Philippa Stroud, Chief Executive of the Centre for Social Justice.

    We invited many partners from the housing, health and charity sectors, who contributed to the discussion, as well as to a lively Q&A session.  

    The focus of the conversation was about looking at ideas for an alternative and sustainable funding model for supported housing services to one that is predominately dependent on government funding – one which delivers taxpayer value whilst maintaining positive outcomes for service users. Kevin Beirne discussed the need for reform, and the best ways of influencing government opinion.

    The subjects covered included:

    • How we can help people to achieve personal independence, and reduce their dependence on the state.
    • How we can deliver new homes and ensure that developers meet all the required conditions related to providing affordable housing.
    • How we can more effectively create funding  to help the health and social system become more responsive to complex needs.
    • The needs of different types of customers such as looked-after children and older people.
    • How we can use public assets more effectively, including land owned by the NHS.

    As part of the event, everyone was also invited to attend a tour of Arlington and its facilities.

    Photo: from left to right, Rachael Byrne, Baroness Stroud of Fulham, Kevin Beirne.