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The UK government has announced £300m of funding over three years for councils to build more specialist accommodation and integrate housing plans into their health and care strategies.

The adult social care reform white paper published this week sets out how the government proposes to spend some of the £1.7 billion earmarked in October’s spending review for improvements to the adult social care system in England.

The plan includes £300m for local authorities from 2022/23 to 2025/26 as part of a longer 10-year vision to ensure ‘every decision about care is a decision about housing’.

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The paper says: “This new investment will allow local authorities to deliver the vision set out in this white paper by integrating housing into local health and care strategies, with a focus on boosting the supply of specialist housing and funding improved services for residents.”

It adds that this will increase confidence in the social supported housing market and stimulate “a positive cycle of further innovation and private investment”.

The plan will allow local authorities to more easily invest in jointly commissioned services, said the government, as well as driving innovation in supported housing services.

Ministers also want older people to be given help to downsize where appropriate. The paper says the government will ensure the new system acts as “an enabler for people to find and finance the right housing options and tenure models for them.”

The upper limit to the Disabled Facilities Grant – which funds adaptations to people’s homes – is set to be increased alongside an unspecified amount of funding for a new service to make minor repairs and changes to people’s home.

The plan sets out £150m of funding over three years to drive digitisation in the care sector and “unlock the potential of care-tech innovation” to improve preventative care and independent living models. It also pledges £500m to improve skills of the workforce.

The broad thrust of the plan was welcomed by the Associated Retirement Community Operators (ARCO) which represents housing-with-care providers.

Michael Voges, Executive Director of ARCO, said the publication of the plan “must mark a turning point in how we support older people in the UK”.

Voges said: “This white paper clearly recognises the key role which specialist housing such as integrated retirement communities should play in our future social care system.

“As a society we must aim to give every older person the choice to maintain their independence by moving into specialist housing offering care and support as they need it.”

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