Commonweal Housing and the Local Government Association (LGA) have penned a joint open letter urging the Government to tackle the cases of exploitation of the exempt system and work towards the provision of secure, appropriate, and good quality housing and support for vulnerable adults and young people.
The open letter has been sent to the Secretaries of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, and for Work and Pensions, and has been signed by leading organisations and national membership bodies, including NACCOM.
Other signatories include the National Housing Federation, the Chartered Institute for Housing, Crisis, St Mungo’s, Women’s Aid and Housing Justice. Leaders at the five local authorities that have been part of the Government’s exempt accommodation pilot scheme have also signed the letter, as well as regional Mayors, Police Commissioners and local councillors.
CALLING FOR REFORM
More than 68 organisations have united in a call to Government to clean up exempt accommodation, an underregulated form of supported housing that has fallen victim to exploitation, corruption and profiteering.
- The letter calls on the Government to:
- Introduce measures to ensure that care, support and supervision meets the necessary and expected quality, and that Government provides local authorities with sustained funding to support services that meet local needs, ending the injustice of exempt claimants having to pay for the costs of support services that are ineligible for Housing Benefit;
- The closure of loopholes that grant the opportunity to exploit the system;
- Further strengthening the powers of the Regulator of Social Housing to proactively act in this area where Registered Providers are involved;
- Support, enable and fund councils to review their local situation, including where necessary, empowering councils to assess the need for housing-related support and carry out the development of an Exempt Accommodation Strategy so that local authorities can be actively engaged in oversight of this sector.