SCRAPPED plans to change the way supported living schemes are funded have provided a “greater degree of assurance” they will not fold, it has been claimed.

The Department of Work and Pensions had previously announced that the government intended to limit funding available for supported housing schemes at local housing allowance levels.

In 2017 the government announced it was abandoning this approach and subsequently issued a consultation paper proposing alternative proposals.

The new plans proposed that short term and temporary housing schemes such as the YMCA and Salvation Army, would be funded through a ring-fenced grant paid to local authorities, which would be responsible for commissioning and funding this type of accommodation.

The government advised the changes would come in from April 2020, with current funding arrangements, through housing benefit, remaining in place until then.

However, housing minister Kit Malthouse announced in August that the government was going to scrap the plans and retain the current funding model.

The council’s environment, regeneration, housing, culture and leisure overview and scrutiny panel was updated on the situation on Wednesday.

Stephen Tracey, the council’s senior assistant director, housing, safer communities, recreation and libraries, said: “There were some concerns that as a result of the proposals, which were out for consultation at that time, the impact of these would be to destabilise supported housing provision.

“Housing providers themselves had some concerns. Since then government have undertaken a consultation exercise and have considered the responses that have come back from providers.

“And the upshot of all this is basically the government have scrapped all proposals they were putting forward around changing the way in which supported housing schemes were to be funded.

“And they did announce in August this year that they are going to retain the existing model, which provides security for providers that supported housing schemes will continue to be funded through the housing benefit route.”

Mr Tracey said the announcement ensures the “long-term sustainability” of funding for all of the supported housing schemes in the borough.

He said: “That’s not just, for example the YMCA and Salvation Army, but Pennington Lodge and domestic abuse refuge schemes.

“There is a greater degree of assurance that those schemes will not fold as a result of the funding changes.”