Headlines: January 29th, 1999

Social Security Minister Angela Eagle has called on housing associations to help with the reform of the way public money supports people who need support with housing.She told the National Housing Federation symposium that the Government wanted a system where housing associations worked with councils and the voluntary sector to plan, commission and fund the provision required in each area.

It’s a similar model to the way the Government is required police and councils to put together joint plans for tackling crime, and in which health service providers are also being required to work together.

Ms Eagle said: “The present arrangements do not encourage a sensible approach to local and national planning. The funding system is inflexible and is not capable of delivering proper assurances on service quality. It is a system that is full of inconsistencies.”

The Minister also outlined the transitional Housing Benefit scheme which will be introduced while the detail of long-term proposals is being developed. She said it would maintain stability in the supported housing sector and have wider coverage than existing regulations.