Steve McCabe MP for Birmingham Selly Oak introduced his 10 Minute Rule Bill, the Supported Accommodation Bill on Wednesday 18 November.
The Bill seeks to address the problems of HMO’s being used as supported accommodation without sufficient regulation and oversight of the support offered, the conditions of the property and the suitability of the landlord or housing provider. Supported accommodation properties are growing rapidly in Steve McCabe’s constituency where the MP is concerned landlords breaching planning laws and housing a number of vulnerable people in poorly extended HMO’s with little or no support.
The Supported Accommodation Bill would require developers to disclose for planning purposes an intention to use a building for supported housing or other accommodation that is specified for the purposes of Universal Credit and Housing Benefit. It would also seek to establish a suitability test for accommodation proposed for such use and make provision about the fitness of persons to be landlords or managers of supported or other specified accommodation.
Speaking in Parliament last week, Steve McCabe MP told the Minister of the problems his constituents have had reporting problems in exempt accommodation. This included a pregnant woman and her partner who were threatened with a knife after reporting a repair to their supported accommodation provider.
The Bill is being introduced to the House of Commons by Steve McCabe on Wednesday 18 November and is being co-sponsored by Kerry McCarthy, Jack Dromey, Shabana Mahmood, Clive Betts, Jim Shannon, Karen Buck, Diana Johnson, Daisy Cooper, Rachel Hopkins, Ian Levy and Gary Sambrook.
Steve McCabe MP said:
“My Supported Accommodation Bill would provide much needed oversight of the supported accommodation sector; we need suitable checks on the level of support provided and on the property being used. I have heard from local residents just how difficult reporting concerns about crime, noise and drug use are to landlords and owners of properties.
We need regulation to ensure supported accommodation is providing high quality support for vulnerable people as well as working with local communities and residents to address any problems. The current system is shrouded in secrecy, too many landlords are making profits from vulnerable people and providing no support. They need to be held accountable.”