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Levelling Up Committee publishes exempt accommodation written evidence

24 March 2022

On Monday from 4pm, the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee begins the formal public evidence hearing for its inquiry into exempt accommodation – a type of supported housing that is exempt from Housing Benefit rules limiting rents to particular levels. 

Witnesses include the Regulator of Social Housing, councils, and the Charity Commission (further details are included below).

Ahead of the opening evidence session for the inquiry, the LUHC Committee has today published 106 written evidence submissions received from a range of councils, housing associations, charities and other organisations including the National Fire Chiefs Council, West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, YMCA, LGA, Crisis, Changing Lives, Manchester City Council, Birmingham City Council, and the Women’s Aid Federation of England. MPs Shabana Mahmood and Preet Kaur Gill also submitted evidence.

The list of written evidence submissions is available below and also on the LUHC Committee website.

The written evidence submissions cover a range of issues concerning the provision, availability, and quality of support and concerns about the quality of housing within exempt accommodation.  The submissions also cover issues such as the complex regulatory structures of exempt accommodation, concerns about links to criminal activities, and proposals for ensuring better provision.

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

Clive Betts, Chair of the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee, said: “On Monday, we look forward to beginning our inquiry with evidence from the Regulator of Social Housing, the Charity Commission and from councils.

“When provided at a decent standard and with proper support, exempt accommodation can be a lifeline for extremely vulnerable people and a vital piece of the social housing landscape. But exempt accommodation has been under the spotlight over concerns it is failing to look after some of the country's most vulnerable people. There are also worrying claims that neglectful landlords are exploiting the system and pocketing taxpayer money while providing housing and support which is woefully short of what is needed.

“As we begin the public hearings for our inquiry, we will be looking at how exempt accommodation should best be provided and regulated, how regulation should be enforced, and why there may be regional disparities in the quality and provision of exempt accommodation.”

In the evidence session on Monday, LUHC Committee will hear from the Regulator of Social Housing, from councils, and the Charity Commission (witness details included further below). The session is likely to cover issues including the quality of exempt accommodation, the role of local councils, regulation, and the performance of registered providers.

The LUHC’s Committee’s inquiry follows reports, including from the West Midlands, of unscrupulous landlords failing to provide the support and care that vulnerable tenants need, or to maintain the properties to a decent standard.

Evidence session: Exempt accommodation inquiry, Monday 28th March, 4pm

This session will be available to watch on Parliament TV.

From 4pm

  • Jonathan Walters, Regulator of Social Housing
  • Paul Latham, Director of Communication and Policy, Charity Commission

From c.5pm

  • Cllr Neil Jory, Leader of West Devon District Council
  • Guy Chaundy, Senior Manager Housing Strategy, City Housing, Birmingham City Council
  • Helen Clipsom, Outreach and Private Rented Options Service Manager, City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council
  • Cllr Sharon Thompson, Chair of the Homelessness Taskforce Members Advisory Group, West Midlands Combined Authority.

Exempt accommodation - list of 106 written evidence submissions

Further information

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