Today, Daniel Zeichner, MP for Cambridge and John Healey MP, Secretary of State for Housing and Planning visited Railway House (128 Mill Road, Cambridge CB1 2BQ) and heard how the government’s future funding proposals for supported housing risk threatening vital support provisions for young people in Cambridge.
Daniel and John was joined by the Chief Executive of Cambridge Housing Society (CHS), Nigel Howlett, who detailed CHS’s supported housing provisions and explained what challenges they face in light of recent policy proposals to change the funding of supported housing.
Mr Healey came to Cambridge after recently leading a parliamentary debate on supported housing, urging the Government to scrap to cap housing benefit payments for vulnerable tenants including those who are homeless, and to instead introduce a system that will provide the necessary funding to ensure a sustainable, long-term future for supported housing. In response to the debate, Ministers announced that they would drop their previous plans for a crude local housing allowance cap on supported housing, but significant worries remain about the new proposals, including the £500m a year funding cuts that Labour have identified as pencilled in for after 2020.
During that debate, Daniel made a contribution highlighting how the increase in homelessness in Cambridge is putting pressure on the city’s housing associations, emphasising that there is an urgent need for clarity on future funding.
Daniel said, “Cambridge faces a whole series of challenges when it comes to housing; our rents are high and there is a huge divide between the most wealthy and the most vulnerable.
I am delighted that John will be joining me in Cambridge and will get the opportunity to meet both the residents and support workers of Railway House. There are many people in Cambridge and varying needs of support that prevent them from finding permanent housing; supported housing is a vital service for a number of these residents.”
Ahead of the visit, John Healey has said, “after two years of pressure from Labour and housing charities, there are still big unanswered questions on the future of vital supported housing services like Railway House.
Labour will keep fighting to force the government to protect the long-term future of supported housing in Cambridge and across the country.”