Rethink Mental Illness Media Team
Brian Dow, Director of External Affairs at Rethink Mental Illness said,
"The Government has recognised the concerns of the sector and people living in supported housing in their decision to scrap the proposed cap on funding and produce these new proposals.
However serious questions about the future of mental health supported housing still remain. On one hand, the decision to maintain the current system so that tenants in long-term supported housing will continue to have their rents met through the welfare system is extremely welcome.
On the other, the future for short term (less than two years) tenants is much less clear. Short term stays in mental health supported housing are vital in helping tenants transition to living independently in the community. Under new proposals funding for short term housing would be provided solely by local authorities, most of whom are already cash strapped and overstretched. This is could lead to fewer spaces and regional disparity.
Mental health supported housing provides a vital safety net for tens of thousands of people and is integral to the recovery of people severely affected by mental illness. It also has the potential to deliver huge savings to the public purse and an enormous role to play in tackling some of the major challenges facing the NHS, such as delayed discharges, out of area placements, and reducing lengths of stay in hospital.
We now want to continue our work with the Government and the wider sector to ensure the new funding system provides certainty for both providers and tenants of mental health supported housing, regardless of their length of stay.”