Care and Support Specialised Housing Fund

CSSH
Published on Wednesday, 07 November 2012 12:15
Written by Colin Molton

The link between housing design, health, and quality of life is especially pertinent among people with disabilities and older people. This is why the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) welcomed its role in administering the Department of Health's recently launched Care and Support Specialised Housing Fund (CSSH), which will draw on our experience of delivering large-scale inclusive housing programmes and championing good design and sustainability

An ageing society in particular poses one of our greatest housing, social care and health service challenges, with an estimated 60% of new households  being in homes led by individuals over 65 by 2025*. Many existing homes and communities have not been designed to meet people's changing needs as they get older, yet inclusive housing and wider environmental design is key to our health and well-being. The new £240m CSSH seeks to address these issues by widening the housing options for older people and adults with disabilities, delivering high quality, flexible, and environmentally friendly new affordable and market sale homes in accessible and vibrant neighbourhoods.

Housing options for older people and disabled adults can be quite varied in quality and not always suitable for everyone. Often they are in the wrong place, which is why we're calling for innovation in developing housing opportunities through the CSSH, asking local authorities, and developers to work collaboratively with health providers to identify the best solutions to meet local needs and priorities.  This could include using local authority land or existing health facilities to work with the Fund to achieve the best value results between, housing, health, care and support.

The ultimate aim of the Fund is to get more older and disabled people remaining independent for longer. A higher quality of housing can do that, breaking down barriers, making living at home and having care delivered when needed easier and more affordable, raising as it does the quality of life, and, in the longer term, reducing the burden on the public purse.

Delivery through the Fund will build on good practice and principles identified from across Europe through the 2009 Housing our Ageing Population: Panel for Innovation (HAPPI) Report. The Panel has been influential among the sector – especially among key players such as Berkeley Homes, McCarthy and Stone and Hanover - in identifying a fresh approach to improving the quantity, quality, and variety of housing opportunities for older people which meets local needs and aspirations. The Fund will widen the appeal of their approach to include housing for disabled adults.

The Fund is split into two phases, focusing on affordable housing in Phase One and market sale homes in a later second phase. Bidding for funding for affordable housing through Phase One is now open and details of programme requirements are available on HCA's website.

We're also encouraging private sector developers and other housing providers to submit expressions of interest that will help develop the second phase of funding, focussed on encouraging delivery of a wider range of high quality, attractive housing opportunities in the private market.

The HCA is already delivering around 10% of our Affordable Homes Programme for supported housing and housing for older people, and the Fund is a good opportunity to build on this.

Visit the HCA website to download the Prospectus for the Fund, incorporating bid details for Phase One.

*"Laying the Foundations: A Housing Strategy for England". DCLG, November 2011.

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