Levelling up, Housing And Communities Select Committee visit Birmingham on fact finding mission about Exempt Accommodation

The Levelling up, Housing And Communities Committee composed of cross party MPs have visited Birmingham (16 June) on a fact finding mission about Exempt Accommodation.

The visit follows an announcement of an inquiry into Exempt Accommodation by the committee in December 2021.  Birmingham City Council, other local authorities and housing organisations have already submitted written and verbal evidence to the inquiry which remains ongoing. The visit coincided with the announcement of the first 7 providers of supported accommodation being awarded prestigious Quality Assurance Standard by Birmingham City Council and Birmingham Voluntary Sector Council

Following completion of the assessment process, the committee were told about the first 7 awards for providers who are:

 

  • Spring Housing Gold
  • YMCA Gold
  • Changes UK Silver
  • Midland Mencap Silver
  • Future Health & Social Care (FHSC) Bronze
  • St Anne’s Hostel Bronze
  • THS Throughcare Bronze

 

BCC and BVSC are now actively working with over 30 providers in the city and encouraging them to undertake the rigorous assessment process involved in getting the award.

Councillor Sharon Thompson, Cabinet Member for Housing and Homelessness, said ‘We thank the members of the Select Committee for visiting Birmingham and seeing for themselves the issues in the city. They toured the Stockland Green area and heard from residents, councillors and the police about the issues and the urgent need for action in the sector. Birmingham City Council have been doing great work trying to drive up standards across the sector such as the launching of the Quality Standards last year with Birmingham Voluntary Sector Council. However, we need radical reform to the sector to help our most vulnerable residents, in particular enforcement powers to close down providers who are exploiting vulnerable people or not providing an adequate service.’

Steve McCabe, MP for Birmingham Selly Oak, said: “I would like to thank the Select Committee for visiting Birmingham today to further their important work on Supported Exempt Accommodation. Residents from my constituency of Selly Oak spoke to the committee about their experiences of poorly-managed Supported Exempt Accommodation and the impacts that it has on our communities. What we need now is a comprehensive Government plan for resolving the issues in this sector, which will support vulnerable tenants, protect our communities, and crack down on rogue landlords.”

Notes for editors

More details on the Levelling up, Housing And Communities Committee can be found at  Levelling Up Committee launches inquiry into exempt accommodation – Committees – UK Parliament

Following on from this on 17th March 2022 there was an announcement from the Minister Eddie Hughes about a National Supported Housing Improvement programme, and a package of measures and legislative changes Written statements – Written questions, answers and statements – UK Parliament

The Select Committee invited to Birmingham was composed of the following members

  • Clive Betts MP (Chair) 
  • Bob Blackman MP
  • Darren Henry MP
  • Kate Hollern MP
  • Florence Eshalomi MP

To drive up standards in the supported accommodation sector Birmingham City Council and Birmingham Voluntary Sector Council (BVSC) introduced a new Quality Assurance Standard for providers of non-commissioned or exempt accommodation last March.  

The Quality Standard looks at 3 key areas to assess the quality of provision: Leadership and Management, Referral Assessment and Supervision and Residents.  To pass the quality standards providers will need to achieve 70% or more.  Providers who pass the quality standards will either receive Bronze, Silver or Gold.  The award will last up to two years.  Within this period, providers continue to be monitored and reviewed.

Further information about Birmingham City Council Supported Housing Pilot and the Quality Standards is available on our website, including an up to date list of the providers and their awards. This can be found at 

Supported Exempt Accommodation | Supported Exempt Accommodation | Birmingham City Council

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