Exempt accommodation “to be extended”

SI now published: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2014/771/made



"We will be defining supported accommodation in a broader way so that it protects more hostels and refuges.  The groups that we are looking at are where care and accommodation is provided separately, so that would be brought in together.  We have talked to sector representatives as we developed this wider set of regulations.  They are comfortable that, of all the provision that had been at risk—and this is because the definition of supported exempt accommodation had been fairly fuzzy, I think, is the best word—we would capture virtually all of it and protect it.  

Chair: Virtually all?

Glenda Jackson: Yes, what is the bit that is going to be left out?


Q131   Chair: Will all women’s refuges, for instance, be covered?


Lord Freud: Virtually all, I think.  I am using that expression because there may be the odd hostel here or there that when they look at it they probably will have to adapt slightly to fit in, but the intention is to capture—

Chair: The intention is to capture them all.

Lord Freud: I use the expression “virtually all” just because in a complicated area there may be some odd anomalies.


Q132   Glenda Jackson: When will it come into effect?

Lord Freud: It will be live by April.


Q133   Glenda Jackson: Of this year?

Lord Freud: Yes, and it will be in October for Universal Credit.


Q134   Chair: When will the SI be laid?

Lord Freud: I imagine as soon after this meeting as possible.


Q135   Glenda Jackson: Have the relevant organisations been informed of this change?

Andrew Parfitt: We have obviously been talking to the relevant organisations to work out the best way forward, but the Minister wanted to inform this Committee of the decision first of all, before informing the sector.


Q136   Glenda Jackson: We are very grateful for that, but the information will be passed down.

Andrew Parfitt: Absolutely.

Lord Freud: I think it is worth talking about looking at supported and exempt accommodation longer term.  I am looking to get a longer term structure, because we need to work out a way of getting specialised housing dealt with in a more flexible and dynamic way.  I am look to develop a longer term solution.  At the moment, we will just have it out with the amounts of money.  I want to have local areas determining their need and having provision that flexes more, so we are working on a longer term solution as well as this.