MPs claim that exempt housing is a ‘complete mess’

MPs claim that exempt housing is a ‘complete mess’

8:01 AM, 1st November 2022, About 2 years ago 1

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MPs say that the current system of exempt accommodation, a type of supported housing that is used to house a range of people with support needs, is a ‘complete mess’.

Not only is it failing too many residents and local communities but doing so at the expense of the taxpayer, the cross-party Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (LUHC) Committee say in a report.

The Committee’s report calls on the Government to bring forward a series of urgent reforms for the sector, including the introduction of enforceable national standards and compulsory registration, to help boost the quality of exempt accommodation and support services.

The report also calls for action to close the loopholes in the current system which ‘offers a licence to print money to those who wish to exploit it’.

Supported housing is used to house a range of people

Exempt accommodation is a type of supported housing that is used to house a range of people with support needs, such as homeless people, people who have experienced domestic abuse, prison leavers, and those recovering from alcohol and drug addiction.

The Committee recommends that the Government:

Introduce compulsory national minimum standards for exempt accommodation, including on referrals, care and support, and quality of housing

Give local councils the powers and resources to enforce these standards

Require all exempt accommodation providers to be registered

Create a National Oversight Committee to join-up existing regulators and mend the current ‘patchwork regulation’ which has too many holes

Ensure the providers of exempt accommodation for survivors of domestic abuse have recognised expertise to provide specialist support and a safe environment

Review the system of exempt housing benefit claims and clamp down on the exploitation of the lease-based exempt accommodation model for profit.

‘The state of exempt accommodation are shocking’

Clive Betts, the chair of the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee, said: “While there are many good providers of exempt accommodation, the findings of our inquiry on the state of exempt accommodation are shocking.

“The current system of exempt accommodation is a complete mess which lets down residents and local communities and which rips off the taxpayer.

“The Government must act now to help councils to tackle this situation and ensure people get the quality housing and support services they need to move on with their lives.”

He added: “The best examples of exempt accommodation highlight quality housing and specialist services, with proactive staff helping to support residents.

“However, in the worst cases support amounts to little more than a loaf of bread left on the table or a support worker shouting at the bottom of the stairs to check on residents.”

Unscrupulous providers make excessive profits

Mr Betts said that residents and communities are being failed while unscrupulous providers make excessive profits by capitalising on loopholes in the system.

He said media reports highlight that these providers have included organised criminal gangs, who use the system to launder money.

The government must now bring forward reform on standards, regulation and oversight, and on funding to put this right.

Mr Betts said: “In our changes we are not asking for any additional expenditure; we are calling on the Government to get a grip on the vast sums it is paying out without effective oversight.”

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Michael Holmes

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12:21 PM, 4th November 2022, About 2 years ago

It is amazing how all these reports always end up with recommendations for more regulation! It never occurs to any to of these process freaks that the big picture of rising homelessness, failed PRS business and bankruptcies is in large part caused by over exacting regulations already in play. From experience in the 1990s, this bureaucratic formula collapsed over 70,000 small Care Homes for the elderly. They are doing the same now to the PRS. One wonders what exactly is the agenda here. Total economic collapse of our whole way of life seems to be the goal!

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