VIDEO: Sheffield housing bosses claim victory after PM Theresa May U-turns on policy

Sheffield housing bosses have claimed victory after Prime Minister Theresa May U-turned on a scheme which would've put '1,000 vulnerable people at risk'.

The Government had planned to implement controversial changes to benefits for people living in social housing, including the elderly and vulnerable people in supported accommodation.

South Yorkshire Housing Association chief executive Tony Stacey OBE said he was delighted the Government had changed their mind on the policy

South Yorkshire Housing Association chief executive Tony Stacey OBE said he was delighted the Government had changed their mind on the policy

South Yorkshire Housing Association - one of the big opponents of the legislation leading a national campaign against it - said 1,000 people across the county would be directly affected by the policy.

But in Parliament yesterday, the Prime Minister drew cheers from MPs when she announced that the Government would scrap plans for all social housing tenants to have their housing benefit capped in line with the private rented sector.

Critics of the policy said when applied to specialist supported housing schemes, the cap did not take into account the essential extra costs associated with supported housing, such as running costs, repairs and staffing.

This would have left supported housing schemes with a massive shortfall in rent, and left many of the schemes no longer financially viable and under threat of closure.

The announcement came ahead of the planned debate on the future funding of supported housing arranged by Wentworth and Dearne MP, John Healey.

Tony Stacey OBE, chief executive of South Yorkshire Housing Association said: “This is a day for celebration, and I’d like to say well done to Theresa May and the Government for undoing the damage the original plans would have caused.

“The proposed cap has cast a shadow over the housing sector for the past two years, and has halted the majority of planned new schemes across the country due to the uncertainty it created. Supported housing schemes are an essential lifeline for some of the most vulnerable people in society, and scrapping the cap provides us with some certainty over the future of our schemes.

“We’re looking forward to hearing the Government unveil their future plans for supported housing on Tuesday 31st October. But for now the 25th October 2017 is a day that we won’t forget for a very long time.”

Speaking during Prime Minister’s Questions, Mrs May said: “I can also say today that as part of our response to the review, we will not apply the Local Housing Allowance cap to supported housing.

“Indeed we will not be implementing it in the wider social rented sector and the full details will be made available when we publish our response to the consultation.”