March 20, 2012

Grant Shapps – ‘Invest to save’ and offer support to vulnerable people

Tue, 20 March 2012

Councils must ‘invest to save’ and protect their most disadvantaged residents, Housing Minister Grant Shapps said today.

The Minister urged town halls to follow Whitehall’s example and protect Supporting People funding to help the most vulnerable in their communities.

In a letter to council leaders, he reminded councils as they set their budgets they should consider evidence showing that every pound spent through this housing support services saves £3 – in reduced costs in homelessness, tenancy failure, crime, health and residential care packages.

So the £1.6 billion invested annually in Supporting People can save as much as £3.41 billion in the costs of alternative help for vulnerable people in our communities.

The Government protected £6.5 billion funding for Supporting People over the course of the Spending Review – representing a less than one per cent cash reduction in funding each year.

The funding helps people across the country to live independently in their own homes.

These can include:
· older and disabled people
· single homeless people
· people with mental health problems; and
· women at risk of domestic violence.

Grant Shapps said:

“Local taxpayers will rightly expect their councils to do their utmost to protect the services that help the most vulnerable residents in their communities – and so do I.

“That’s why, despite the need to cut the record deficit we inherited, we’ve protected the £6.5 billion Supporting People funding which each year helps approximately a million people to live independent lives.

“As councils look to set their budgets, I would urge them to consider the evidence that with each pound spent through Supporting People saving £3 by avoiding more costly alternatives, and invest to save to ensure help continues for those most in need.”