Sheltered Housing

West Cornwall MP Derek Thomas has pressed the Government to ensure that changes in the way that sheltered housing for vulnerable people is funded are not watered down.

The Government is planning to hand the cash for supported housing to local authorities and Mr Thomas has spoken at a Commons debate on the proposals saying he wants to make sure that the organisations that deliver support and sheltered housing can be confident that they do get all the money awarded.

“Government needs to ensure that supported housing has a secure and sustainable future and that funding keeps up with demand,” he said.

“It is very important that we achieve an adequate supply of supported housing for people who have learning disabilities.

“Parents are not getting any younger and they worry about where their adult children will live and who will support them when they can no longer do so.

“I know from previous professional experience that there are few options available for adults with learning disabilities who want to leave home.

“They would like the opportunity to be supported to live independently fairly close to home and need good access to public transport. We are nowhere near achieving this.”

Mr Thomas believes the Government can do more to encourage local authorities to build homes to meet the demand and supports Cornwall councillor Jim McKenna’s campaign for sheltered housing to be built on the former Penwith District Council office site at St Clare.

He also pointed out an anomaly which penalises young people living in sheltered housing who are trying to access further education.

Mr Thomas has been alerted to the problems facing a young constituent who lives in sheltered housing and who had been accepted for a place on a degree course.

The 19-year-old had to apply for student finance to fund the degree course but in doing so was told that he wouldn’t be able to claim the housing benefit which pays for his sheltered housing if he did so.

“The Government needs to change the rules so that young people in supported living can access student finance and get the qualifications they aspire to without losing the support and housing they need,” Mr Thomas added.