Social Care White Paper: Importance of home recognised, with cash and promised action

Social Care White Paper: Importance of home recognised, with cash and promised action

The Government has launched its wide ranging 10 year vision for Social Care, ‘People at the heart of care’

Overview of main proposals concerning housing

There is a welcome recognition of the importance of home in relation to care and support for adults of all ages (Chapter 4) with a recurring phrase of ‘Making every decision about care a decision about housing’.

Whilst most of the listed housing actions, funding and initiatives are related to building new, specialist and supported housing [SEE BELOW], it is acknowledged that most people live in mainstream housing as they age [Clause 4.18] and there is news about home adaptations and help with minor repairs:

*Funding for Disabled Facilities Grants reduced – budget will be £570 million per year in 2022–23, 2023-24, 2024–25 [4.20]

The national budget in 21-22 is £573m. Whilst continuation of the DFG funding is welcome news, this will result in a significant reduction in the number of people who can be helped given the rapidly rising costs of labour and materials.

*Funding for a new service to make minor repairs & changes in peoples’ homes to help them remain independent and safe [4.21]

No cash amount is specified, but it is hoped that this will give a boost to handyperson services that are so highly valued by older people and provide such a great return on investment

Future promises

Proposed changes to DFG are highlighted, including reviewing the means test, increasing the DFG upper limit, expanding DFG scope to include more assistive technology, altering the system for allocations to LAs, plus forthcoming new Guidance about delivery [P.38]

There is a promise to look at improving access to information and impartial advice to help people to plan for their future housing, care and finances [p.39]

A decision about making all new homes more accessible is again put off to a future date [4.24]

Other investments announced in Housing Section:

  • Invest at least £300 million over the next 3 years to embed the strategic commitment in all local places to connect housing with health and care and drive the stock of new supported housing.
  • Invest at least £150 million of additional funding over the next three years to drive digitisation across the sector; and unlock the potential of caretech innovation that enables preventative care and independent living.
  • Launch a £30 million Innovative Models of Care Programme to support local systems to build the culture and capability to embed into the mainstream innovative models of care. This will work for a changing population with more options for people that suit their needs and circumstances.
  • Continue to invest in the Care and Support Specialised Housing (CASSH) fund with £210 million available for the period 2022–23 to 2024–25.

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