Leading Midlands landlord whg is highlighting the contribution supported housing makes to the region as part of today’s Starts at Home day.

Starts at Home is run by the National Housing Federation (NHF), of which whg is a member. The campaign, which is now in its second year, celebrates how supported housing helps hundreds of thousands of vulnerable people regain and retain their independence and confidence.

However, uncertainty surrounds the future funding of supported housing. Supported housing is currently exempt from the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) cap, but plans have been announced by the Government to implement this cap, which could put the future of services at risk.

The Government has delayed the introduction of the cap whilst it carries out a strategic review. The cap is expected to be introduced in April 2019.

The NHF and its members are continuing their campaign to persuade the Government to commit to ensuring that every person who needs extra support has a home that meets their needs.

As part of the campaign, whg has contacted MPs Valerie Vaz, Wendy Morton and Eddie Hughes, calling on them to champion supported housing in Parliament.

The leading Midlands landlord provides supported housing through its unique wellbeing schemes for people aged over 55. Its flagship wellbeing scheme, Cardan Pointe, based on the regenerated Waterfront in Walsall, provides 44 high quality homes. whg’s second purpose built wellbeing scheme, Keelson Pointe, opened earlier this year in Leamore and provides 66 high quality apartments.

whg also has two more wellbeing schemes – The Sidings, in Bloxwich, which provides 18 homes and Butcroft House, in Darlaston, which provides 17 homes.

All of whg’s wellbeing schemes have an emphasis on sustaining and improving the health and wellbeing of whg customers. Customers are able to use whg’s unique wellbeing service, which provides additional support if required.

whg customer Noleean Dyke, aged 66, has moved into an apartment in Keelson Pointe.

She said: “I wanted to move out of my current home as I had to undergo a major operation last year. Because of this, my lifestyle changed and I lost my independence.

“At Keelson Pointe, I have the opportunity to get additional support if I require it through the wellbeing service. I now feel safe and secure in my own home and I am regaining my independence.”

whg will be opening more wellbeing schemes in the future. Ellum Pointe, in Brownhills, is expected to open in spring 2018 and will provide 62 homes.

Swallow Place, in Penkridge, will be handed over in autumn 2018, providing 65 new homes, which will offer an element of support to its customers.

Supported housing is also provided through whg’s Independent Living Team. The team works with customers who need additional support if their tenancy is at risk and supports them through the crisis, ensuring they can sustain their tenancies.

Each month, around 35 customers are supported by this service, which is usually a short term intervention lasting up to 10 weeks.

Clare Thomas, whg’s Head of Health and Wellbeing, said: “The continued threat of the imposition of the LHA cap on supported housing means all providers remain uncertain of the future for their services.  If LHA is imposed, services will be closed and people will be left without the additional support needed to live in the community.  Our services and those services that provide support to thousands of people with learning disabilities, mental health issues and older people across the country will be at risk.

“Whilst we await the final decision of the Government, we look forward to engaging with local MPs about this issue and hope they support this vital cause.”

David Orr, Chief Executive at the National Housing Federation said: “Supported housing helps people to live independently and achieve their aspirations in a safe and secure home. It is a critical time for supported housing; we must highlight how vital a lifeline it is to so many vulnerable people and show Government why supported housing should be put on a secure and sustainable footing for the future.”