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SHELTERED WARDENS UNDER THREAT WARNS NATIONAL HOUSING FED

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Most people are aware that the warden - a vital and intrinsic part of sheltered housing - is at risk from the gover...
Most people are aware that the warden - a vital and intrinsic part of sheltered housing - is at risk from the government's Supporting People proposals. Currently funded by housing benefit, the warden offers a lifeline for residents of sheltered housing, enabling them to live independently in their own home.

However, the first stage of the proposals, if implemented, could see up to 120,000 older people face losing their wardens next April. The social security advisory committee met this week and agreed to put these first stage proposals out for consultation. There is a four week period for consultation and the National Housing Federation is working to ensure members are fully briefed.

Under the new arrangements, residents will be forced to apply for the grant as individuals, or via their landlord who may have to subject them to an intrusive means-testing process. The NHF is concerned that those eligible for a warden may be deterred from applying individually. If they don't apply or fail to qualify, the money will have to be found from their own income. Alternatively, if the landlord applies for grant for the whole scheme, it may fail simply because the local authority does not have enough funds to go around. The process will undoubtedly result in increased bureaucracy - for a service which costs as little as£15 per person.
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