Housing association fears cut in Barnet funding

By James Martin, February 19, 2009

The Barnet-based Jewish Community Housing Association fears the loss of essential services through local authority funding cutbacks.

JCHA currently receives £71,752 from Barnet Council’s Supporting People programme to pay for wardens and an emergency calls system for seven schemes and over 200 tenants, among them people with learning or physical disabilities.

However, the money is no longer ring-fenced by central government and the council’s cabinet is embarking on a consultation exercise over cutbacks as part of Barnet’s £12 million savings target for next year. A final decision will be taken in June.

Even if the feedback is against the cuts, the cabinet could enforce changes which would reduce the JCHA grant by 75 per cent.

JCHA chief executive Sara Clarke pointed out: “The vast majority of our tenants are reliant on these services to help them live properly. They moved to sheltered housing because of the safety and security it provides.”

The council’s suggestion that alarm system funding would be based on social services’ assessment of need was “self-defeating as the current service significantly reduces the need for intervention from social services”.

Last updated: 4:53pm, July 21 2009