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MHA regularly responds to public consultations and Government inquiries on issues of importance to older people and to represent the social care, housing and charitable sectors.

If you have any questions about these consultations or responses, please email policyandresearch@mha.org.uk

Communities and Local Government Committee Inquiry into Older People’s Housing, March 2017  

The key points to MHA’s response to this inquiry were:

  • There is a range of older people’s housing in the UK, all are in short supply relative to current demand and current and future older populations.
  • Supported housing and housing with care, give older people the independence of their own apartment but the reassurance of care and support onsite, along with other facilities, all of which promote wellbeing and fulfilment in later life. Retirement living offers a range of well evidenced health and social benefits, alongside prolonged independence all of which reduce pressures on the public purse.
  • A key barrier to increasing the supply of older people’s housing is a cumbersome and inconsistent planning system, which could be addressed by dedicated planning approach to housing with care and a clearer focus on older people’s housing in Local Plans.
  • Older people’s housing can contribute to reducing the pressure on wider housing supply. By providing choice and options for older people who want to ‘right size’, there is the opportunity to free up a significant number of family size properties.
  • There is a need for a range of financial products to make the option to right size easier, while the current proposal to cap housing benefit for sheltered housing and change the funding model for tenants will only create uncertainty, anxiety and a limit on future development.
  • We welcome the proposal of an ‘Older People’s Housing’ Strategy, which recognises the impact of an ageing population on housing needs.

 Older people's housing inquiry - MHA response Mar 2017 FINAL.pdf

Funding for Supported Housing consultation, Department for Communities and Local Government/Department for Work and Pensions, February 2017

In September 2016, the Government announced changes to how Local Housing Allowance would be paid for supported and sheltered housing.  The new funding model will begin from 1 April 2019. The consultation sought views on the design of the new model.

Our response states that we do not believe that the current proposals will provide a cost effective and affordable mechanism to support sheltered housing tenants and that this funding model should not be introduced for sheltered housing. We believe their should be a wider debate on welfare benefits for older people and the current pressures on health and social care to consider an integrated approach across these three areas. We also share the view that funding to support the housing costs of older people should be administered nationally and not locally as this model proposes.

 Funding_for_Supported_Housing_consultation_-_MHA_response_Feb_2017_FINAL.pdf

Future of Supported Housing inquiry, Communities and Local Government Select and Work and Pensions Committees, February 2017

This inquiry is examining the planned changes to Local Housing Allowance (LHA) in 2019. The Committee is how the new system will ensure that the varied rate of the LHA cap will not adversely affect tenants and providers in low-value parts of the country. It will also consider how existing tenants will be protected following the switch and ask whether the changes should be piloted. Other sissues being looked at include:the effect that uncertainty is having on the sector; whether separate funding models are needed for refuges and other short-term supported housing services, or sheltered housing services for older people; and how localised funding pots would work.

Our response was similar to the response for the Government consultation above, where we stated that we do not believe that the current proposals will provide a cost effective and affordable mechanism to support sheltered housing tenants and that this funding model should not be introduced for sheltered housing. We also share the view that funding to support the housing costs of older people should be administered nationally and not locally as this model proposes.

MHA_final_response_WP__CLG_Committee_Supported_Housing__inquiry_-_FINAL_Feb_2017.pdf

Homes and Community Agency - Annual provider fees consultation, January 2017

The housing regulator is proposing to introduce fees for regulating private registered providers of social housing in England from April 2017. This includes a one-off fixed fee for all successful applications for initial registration and ongoing annual fee to fund the majority of costs of social housing regulation with the remainder funded by government grant. This consultation outlined the detail of their proposals.

Our response echoed the view sof the National Housing Federation and their concern that this proposal is wrong in principle because it transfers the cost burden from general taxation to individual not-for-profit organisations.  As a charity providing a range of different services for older people, our housing association arm is just part of what we do, as we also provide cares homes and community services. This means we already facing the transfer of the costs of the CQC inspection regime, which will be fully funded by providers in the next few years. Recent changes in charity law also mean we are facing new costs for fundraising regulation.

Homes_and_Communities_Agency_-_regulatory_fees_-_FINAL_Dec_2016.pdf

Brexit and health and social care inquiry, Commons Select Commitee, October 2016

The Commons Select Committee is undertaking an inquiry Brexit and health and social care. It is seeking views on what the most important issues are and where attention will need to be paid in the withdrawal negotiations and what outcomes should be sought from them.

The Committee also invites views on what risks and opportunities for health and social care arise from the UK's withdrawal from the EU, and how the Government should seek to mitigate the risks, and take advantage of the opportunities.

For more information on the inquiry click here.

MHA’s submission to the inquiry focuses on the need for withdrawal negotiations to consider the adult social care workforce, including both carers and nurses.

 Brexit_and_health_and_social_care_MHA_response_Oct_16_FINAL_WEB_VERSION.pdf

 

Charity Sustainability inquiry, House of Lords Select Committee on Charities, September 2016

ThisCommittee was set up in 2016 to consider issues related to sustaining the charity sector and the challenges of charity governance. In this inquiry, they wanted to understand the pressures faced across the sector by charities.

Our evidence highlighted the role charities have in their important and distinct role as they operate for public benefit in a ‘third’ space between the private sector and the public sector. However, we also raised that the current governance arrangements for charities mean that one size fits all – once you are a trustee, your duties and responsibilities are the same regardless of the size and type of charity it is. We suggested that a debate is needed on a more pragmatic tailoring of trustee responsibilities to the focus, scale and purpose of their charities for which they are responsible. Government policy for the third sector also needs to recognise the bigger picture of the current regulatory environment in which many charities operate, beyond the fundraising activity of charities.

 MHA_Written_Submission_to_the_House_of_Lords_Select_Committee_on_Charities_-_Charity_Sustainability_-_FINAL.pdf

Inquiry into Adult Social Care, Communities and Local Government Select Committee, August 2016

The Committee is invited written submissions for its inquiry on the following issues: the 2015 Spending Review and Local Government Finance Settlement, including the social care tax precept, the Better Care Fund, and the National Living Wage; the role of carers; the effect of local authority adult social care commissioning practices and market oversight functions on their local social care market; and innovative approaches to the design and delivery of adult social care.

Our view is that the funding for social care is definitely not sufficient to enable Local Authorities (LAs) to properly meet the needs of their older vulnerable populations. We continue to urge the Government to adopt a longer term view to fund social care and avert a crisis.  Our experience of commissioning practice varies widely across both LAs and Clinical Commissioning Groups. There are pockets of good practice but it is patchy in terms of quality and approaches vary widely.

Thsi submission contains some sensitive information, please contact us at policyandresearch@mha.org.uk if you would like to read our response. 

Call for evidence for Arts, Health and Wellbeing, All-Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing, August 2016

The All Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health and Wellbeing (APPG) is collaborating with King’s College London on an inquiry into Arts, Health and Wellbeing. The purpose is to develop policy recommendations and inform a vision for political leadership in the field of arts, health and wellbeing and sought examples of the arts and culture influencing health and wellbeing outcomes.

Our evidence focusses on our Music Therapy Service. We are convinced that music therapy improves the quality of life for our residents with dementia. Our Music Therapists have made a real difference to the lives of many of our residents, their families / carers and our staff and continue to do so every day. 

 MHA_Response_to_APPG_on_Arts_Health_and_wellbeing_August_2016_FINAL.pdf

 

Mexborough people invited to free panto at Swallow Wood

Redundant and retired over-50s will get help from new project

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