Birmingham City Council have launched a Charter of Rights and a set of Quality Standards for Exempt Accommodation residents, placing new requirements on providers and managing agents

Charter of rights Published: 15th Mar 2021

The Birmingham Safeguarding Adults Board are pleased to see the launch of these two crucial documents that will seek to make improvement for vulnerable citizens in Birmingham.

The Birmingham Safeguarding Adults Board commissioned research in response to significant concerns over the growth in Birmingham of non-commissioned, supported shared accommodation utilising the ‘exempt’ provisions of current Housing Benefit and Universal Credit Regulations. In such accommodation, rents, and thus benefit claims, far in excess of private sector Local Housing Allowance Rates can be yielded, merely by such providers meeting a loose regulatory requirement to provide a level of ‘care, support or supervision’ to claimants. Although exact figures were not available during the course of this research, it was estimated that up to 10,000 units of this type of accommodation were in operation within the City at the time of the research.

Following on from the research, the Board highlighted the issues and has sought assurance on a regular basis since 2018 to the present day on the developing work on exempt accommodation.

BSAB are pleased that these two key documents have now been launched.

The Charter of Rights, developed alongside Spring Housing Association, is intended to make tenants and their families aware of the service they should expect from their landlord.

Birmingham Voluntary Services Council (BVSC) has worked with the Birminghams City Council to sign a set of quality standards for all exempt accommodation providers in the City.

A new team of inspectors and social workers has also been recruited to check that inhabitants of exempt accommodation properties are not being exploited and are receiving the right support.

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