Charity leaders link up for campaign to tackle ‘exploitation and corruption” in housing

Charity CEOs are among more than 40 public and voluntary sector leaders calling for improved housing regulation to better protect their vulnerable beneficiaries.

They have signed a letter to ministers calling them to clean up ‘exempt accommodation’ which is a form of supported housing they warn is blighted by “exploitation, corruption and profiteering and left very vulnerable people with little-to-no support.

This form of housing is where landlords can access higher levels of rent covered by benefits if they provide care and support for tenants. But charities warn the money is instead being “siphoned off into private profit with bad quality housing and no support offered”.

Among charity leaders signing the letter are Crisis CEO Matt Downie, St Mungo’s CEO Steve Douglas and Centrepoint’s director of policy and communications Balbir Chatrik.

Women’s Aid CEO Farah Nazeer and Commonweal Housing CEO Ashley Horsey have also signed the letter.

“For too long, exempt accommodation has operated below the Government’s radar, slowly creating a quiet crisis,” said Horsey.

“Insufficient regulation has enabled some landlords to financially game the system, often at the expense of the vulnerable individuals that it was designed to support.

“Exempt accommodation needs a top-to-bottom review and Government must enact comprehensive reforms to ensure a safe and sustainable future for the sector.

“I thank colleagues across the sector and in local government for their support of our message and know that together, we can deliver good quality housing and support services that puts vulnerable people above profits.”

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