Expectations UK has applied to join the BVSC Charter Of Rights and Quality Standards. The application process has been completed and we will soon be registered.
Following a £1 million supported housing pilot with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, Birmingham City Council (BCC) have:
- Created a Charter of Rights with Spring Housing Association to make tenants and their families aware of the service they should expect, worked with Birmingham Voluntary Service Council (BVSC), who have designed and are rolling out Quality Standards for all providers of exempt accommodation so that the service they provide meets a high standard.
- Employed an additional multi-disciplinary team of inspectors and social workers to carry out more inspections on properties to ensure that those living there are not being exploited and are receiving the support they need.
- In supported housing, accommodation is provided alongside care, support or supervision to help people live as independently as possible. Those who are often housed in this type of property are the homeless and other vulnerable groups, such as those with support needs or disabilities.
- There are currently more than 20,000 units of supported exempt accommodation across the city and most of this housing provision is non-commissioned. However, BCC has fewer powers in relation to regulation of this burgeoning sector, which needs wider policy reform on a national basis and further policy analysis. Benefit tribunals and operational level research has sometimes identified exempt accommodation as a complex and difficult area of housing benefit to administer.
Exempt accommodation is funded through housing benefit with potential residents placed into it using multiple referral routes. This pilot has provided BCC with additional resources to scrutinize applications for exempt status to ensure providers are offering suitable housing for those people with complex support needs.
Cllr Sharon Thompson, cabinet member for homes and neighbourhoods at Birmingham City Council said, “I am pleased that this innovative piece of work has been recognised as good practice nationally. Supported accommodation is essential for thousands of people who rely on it to live as independently as possible. But it is essential that providers honour their commitment to deliver the right support."
“I’m very proud that we’ve launched the Charter of Rights and Quality Standards which will not only help us to champion landlords who are providing a quality service but also have the resource available to be able to effectively monitor those landlords who are not."