There is much discussion currently on the future of the Homes and Communities Agency and grant allocations, with many of the view that there will be zero capital funding in the future for Housing Authorities (HA) to apply for.
This is leaving Registered Housing Providers (RP) to take on development and financial risks that they are not necessarily experienced in managing or have an appetite to take on in these uncertain economic times.
Many RPs that Henley Healthcare Investments work with, are finding that they are also forced to take on sales risk of private units to cross subsidise affordable units, and in truth meaning that HAs are having to become fully fledged property developers.
Henley Healthcare Investments can offer an alternative to this default “developer” scenario, which we know for many RPs is neither feasible nor desirable.
The Henley Healthcare Investments System
- Henley Healthcare Investments (HHI) collaborates with Local Authorities (LA) to identify housing need for people who are able and are ready to live more independently in supported housing environments. HHI fund 100% of capital costs of acquisition and adaptations that are required to any property to make it suitable for use by a particular individual.
- We then work closely with Registered Housing Providers (RP), social workers and care operators, to work out the total cost of the housing provision and then collectively agree those costs with Housing Benefit (HB) and with Adult Social Care.
- We also work with the RP to agree a nomination agreement with the commissioning officers. This is provides certain assurances to all parties. For the LA it allows them to control who occupies the property, and therefore helps them avoid costly ‘Ordinary Resident’ issues. For the RP the agreement underwrites for any voids, that neither the void surcharge fund (collected through HB) nor any void insurance might cover. This means the RP’s covenant is strengthened and provides added security and confidence to the RP that they will be able to meet the terms of their lease.
- Different RPs provide different levels of housing management and support services. A Service Level Agreement is worked out and agreed between the RP, the care provider (commissioned by the LA) and LA. The level of management and support determines the level of service charge payable by HB.
We are currently working with a number of HAs and care operators on sale and leaseback arrangements for portfolios of property, providing supported housing. This can often be beneficial where the HA is simply looking to generate a cash receipt for sale of assets, or where property requires upgrading and the HA does not have the resources to carry out the works. In these instance HHI can acquire the portfolio, renovate and upgrade the properties, and arrange for the HA to continue to provide the housing management and support, meaning no loss to their operating cashflow.
LAs face significant cut-backs in social care budgets whilst still needing to provide first class services to an ever-increasing demographic of people. Henley have the cost-neutral solution to the problem.
At Henley we see ourselves as an integral part of the network of players required to deliver successful supported housing solutions by engaging at the earliest possible stage of the process.
At Henley we have demand for housing right across the country and are looking to acquire suitable housing stock for new build, open market property, off-plan sales or development opportunities.
Our shared vision is for integrated care and support to become the norm in the next five years… National and local organisations need to take urgent and sustained action to make integrated care and support happen.Rt. Hon Jeremy Hunt MP, Secretary of State for Health