The National Housing Federation has warned that the cuts of £446m to area based grants announced yesterday (Thursday) could have a dire effect on vulnerable people...
– with many local authorities feeling compelled to reduce housing care and support services.
The cuts announced by the Department for Communities and Local Government include £30m from the Supporting People Administration grant and more than £49m from the Working Neighbourhoods fund.
The department also announced that £1.166bn is to be cut from grants to local authorities.
Impact of cuts
The Federation warned that if a substantial proportion of the £446m worth of savings were found through local authorities cutting their Supporting People programmes it could lead to the closure of hundreds of support services across the country. These services include those for:
- Women escaping domestic violence
- Single homeless people
- Older people
- People with learning disabilities.
The main Supporting People allocation was not directly included in the cuts announced today. However, this grant is no longer ring-fenced and forms part of the area based grant meaning that it is vulnerable to cuts.
CLG also today confirmed the £100m in-year cut from the national affordable housing programme. The savings will be made from programmes where funding has been ‘announced but not yet allocated’.
In addition, the department confirmed a further £50m cut – which has also already been announced – will be made to the government Kickstart scheme to get stalled developments off the ground.
'Dire effect on vulnerable people'
Commenting on the cuts to the area based grants, Federation assistant director Helen Williams said: 'Losing these services could have a dire effect on the lives of many vulnerable people who currently receive vital support. There is also likely to be significant knock-on effects of cuts which will increase demand for acute and other health services.'
She added: 'Local authorities face very difficult spending decisions now and in the coming years. Requiring savings within this financial year will mean cutting existing services creating huge uncertainty and instability for service users as well as putting hundreds of jobs at risk.'