Steve McCabe MP (Birmingham Selly Oak) has today welcomed long-awaited measures, announced by the Government, to regulate the supported housing sector.
The Birmingham MP has been calling for action on the sector for several years. In November 2020 he secured a Westminster debate on HMO conversions from family homes to unregulated supported housing. In that debate Steve McCabe described some of the problems unregulated properties were causing his constituents, including threats, abuse and high levels of anti social behaviour.
Steve then introduced a 10 Minute Rule Bill on Supported Accommodation to address some of 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 suitability of the landlord or housing provider. The Bill had cross-party support and petitioned the Government to take urgent action to safeguard residents and crack down on rogue landlords. MP’s across Birmingham have been continuously petitioning the Government on behalf of their residents and recently launched a petition in conjunction with the Birmingham Mail.
In Birmingham, the Local Authority was given £1.048 million funding for a 6-month pilot to test local interventions to regulate supported accommodation. Due to the success of the pilots in Birmingham and other areas of the country, the Government has decided to extend the proposals nationally as part of the Supported Housing Improvement Programme. The Government have also finally decided to provide extra funding and greater scrutiny to ensure higher standards of care in the sector.
Commenting on the announcement, Steve McCabe said:
“After years of campaigning and raising serious concerns about this sector, I am pleased the Government has listened to our calls for greater regulation. For too long, vulnerable people in Selly Oak and across Birmingham have been left with poor levels of support while some landlords rake in huge amounts of cash and provide substandard care. This is the issue I sought to resolve in my 10 Minute Rule Bill back in 2020.
It’s great to see some success, through the pilot interventions, for Birmingham City Council on this matter. I hope the government’s proposals can be expanded on and implemented quickly. I am happy to work with ministers. Birmingham city council and my colleagues in Parliament to secure much needed improvements in this sector”