Supported housing programme to expel corrupt landlords from the market

Corrupt landlords offering low-quality accommodation for high rents will be driven out of the supported housing market through a new £20m government programme.

The Supported Housing Improvement Programme aims to help vulnerable people living in supported housing after experiencing homelessness, mental health issues or domestic abuse.

Schemes should be assisting them into longer-term independent accommodation, but some have been identified to provide unacceptable levels of support and extremely high rents.

New government measures will bring in minimum standards for support, new powers for local authorities to manage the local supported housing market and changes to Housing Benefit regulations.

Minister for Rough Sleeping and Housing, Eddie Hughes MP, said: ‘We want vulnerable residents living in supported housing to have safe, appropriate accommodation, which meets their needs and can help them move onto more independent living.

‘I’m pleased to open our Supported Housing Improvement Programme for bids today. This will build on the momentum from our successful pilots, helping councils in the worst-affected areas to tackle bad quality and poor value for money in supported housing, while preserving good provision by responsible providers.’

While residents should be receiving tailored support and access to health, employment and tenancy services, some landlords have been found to provide as little as a box of cereal while claiming £250 per week in rent, when the average is £80.

Local councils can now apply for funding from the programme to go towards improving accommodation in the worst affected areas.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) has already completed five successful pilots which saw councils across England improve local supported housing.

Minister for Welfare Delivery, David Rutley MP, said: ‘The welfare system acts as a safety net to help people, including those living in supported housing and the Improvement Programme further strengthens that.

‘Having a settled home gives people the security to improve their lives by getting on the employment ladder or taking other steps towards financial independence.

‘This, supported by changes we recently announced which will give people on benefits the choice of putting money towards a deposit, provides the chance to make progress on the pathway to home ownership.’

Photo by Hans


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