Kerry McCarthy Labour MP for Bristol East
Yesterday in the Commons, just before the Prime Minister’s statement on Exiting the EU, I asked the Minister for Supported Housing if the Government would address the lack of regulation in the sector. She had already replied to a recent letter from me, raising concerns about Wick House in my constituency, and I will be taking her up on her offer of a meeting with officials from the Department.
Current rules for supported housing are very relaxed, and the only statutory expectation is that there is “more than minimal” care being provided. This simply isn’t good enough. I am worried that some landlords have converted their properties into supported housing so that they can claim the higher rate of housing benefit given to vulnerable people with support needs, without then providing proper support.
I am pleased that the Minister acknowledges the need for reform in this sector, and when I meet with her officials in the New Year I will be making the clear my belief that a proper regulatory system needs to be introduced for supported housing projects, to ensure that expected standards of care are actually being provided and that vulnerable residents are in safe hands.