Abstracts: August 5th, 2009

This summary of benefits of the Supporting People programme compares costs of providing services within the programme to meeting needs in other ways. The Programme provides strategically planned housing-related services which are typically parts of packages of support and potentially other services. It is managed and delivered at the local level and decisions about which services to commission to meet local need and priorities are for the local authority to make.

Research revealed that for all but three of the groups considered, the financial costs of supporting the individual through the Programme are lower than the overall financial costs that would result from either withdrawing or reducing support or of switching to a more intensive form of support offering a lower degree of independent living.

For the remaining three groups, homeless families with support needs, young people leaving care and teenage parents, costs are higher. Although there is not a net financial benefit, there is a strong case for housing-related support. There are also long-term unquantified benefits that include reductions in both need for support and social exclusion.

For all groups there are also immediate or near-immediate unquantified benefits that are excluded from the figures. These include reduced fear of crime and acquisition skills like cooking and shopping.

At the national level the cost and net financial benefit show that the costs of supporting outweigh the overall costs of not supporting. Consequently, withdrawal of support would not only remove services of benefit to them, but may create a higher cost elsewhere.

The full analysis is available from DCLG. http://www.communities.gov.uk/documents/housing/pdf/1274439