Women’s Aid responds to the levelling up, housing and communities (LUHC) committee’s report on exempt accommodation
This week, the levelling up, housing and communities (LUHC) committee published their report on exempt accommodation, a type of shared housing exempt from locally set caps on housing benefit, used to house a range of people with support needs, including survivors of domestic abuse.
Commenting on the report, Lizzy Dobres, policy and practice manager at Women’s Aid, said:
“We welcome the levelling up committee’s report, highlighting the problems with exempt accommodation provision, which the committee calls a ‘complete mess’. For the past two years, Women’s Aid has campaigned for urgent government action against rogue providers, stopping them from causing further harm to women and children fleeing domestic abuse.
“We are pleased to see the committee recommend that housing benefit is only paid to supported accommodation providers with recognised expertise and who meet the standards established in the domestic abuse sector, such as Women’s Aid National Quality Standards. We also echo the report’s call for more specialist and dedicated refuge spaces, which is critical to stopping problem providers from preying on vulnerable women, as we have witnessed on online platforms. It is, however, essential that any new regulation is not overly burdensome on smaller specialist services, including ‘by and for’ services for Black and minoritised women.”