Skip to main content

Committee questions Levelling UP and DWP Ministers for exempt accommodation inquiry

30 June 2022

On Monday 4 July from 4pm, the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (LUHC) Committee concludes the public evidence sessions for its inquiry into exempt accommodation - a type of supported housing that is exempt from Housing Benefit rule that cap the rents paid to private sector providers - with questions to Ministers from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and the Department for Work and Pensions.

The LUHC Committee will be hearing from Eddie Hughes MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Rough Sleeping and Housing), DLUHC and David Rutley MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Welfare Delivery), DWP.

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

Session focus

The session is likely to cover issues including the experiences of residents of exempt accommodation, why exempt accommodation use has increased in recent years, and questions around improving the support provided to residents. The session is also likely to examine issues regarding regulation, planning and neighbourhoods and the role of local authorities.

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. The Committee recently visited Birmingham and spoke to residents, community and neighbourhood groups, councillors and council officials about their experiences with exempt accommodation in the city.

Witnesses

Monday 4 July, Committee Room 16, Palace of Westminster

  • Eddie Hughes MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Rough Sleeping and Housing), DLUHC
  • David Rutley MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Welfare Delivery), DWP
  • Cathy Page, Deputy Director at DLUHC with responsibility for Supported Housing, Domestic Abuse and Home Adaptations (Disabled Facilities Grant)
  • James Wolfe at DWP, Director, Disability and Housing Support.

Background on the Committee's exempt accommodation inquiry

On Wednesday 27 April, the Committee questioned representatives from charities and organisation working within the exempt accommodation sector, and other concerned parties, including Crisis, Women's Aid Federation of England, Commonweal Housing, Concept Housing Association, YMCA England and Wales, St Petrocs and others.

The LUHC Committee began the public evidence session for its inquiry on exempt accommodation on Monday 28 March with questions to witnesses including the Regulator of Social Housing, Care Quality Commission, the Charity Commission, and councils including City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council, Birmingham City Council, West Midlands Combined Authority, and West Devon District Council.

Further information

Image: PA