|Date:||Tuesday 13 December 2022|
|Areas of Law:||Housing Law|
Watch the webinar recording below:
This webinar was brought to you by the Garden Court Housing Team.
In October 2022, the Chair of the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee said: "The current system of exempt accommodation is a complete mess which lets down residents and local communities, and which rips off the taxpayer."
Concern has been expressed about the following features of supported accommodation:
- The sector is under-regulated
- There are no clear standards of accommodation and care
- Some are putting profit before the needs of residents, resulting in poor housing conditions and ineffective care and support
- Local authorities should have more powers to control the quantity of exempt accommodation within their areas
- The funding regime for supported housing should be reviewed
This has led to the introduction of the Supported Housing (Regulatory Oversight) Bill. The Bill would:
- Require local authorities in England to review supported housing in their areas and develop strategies
- Provide for the creation of a national expert advisory panel to advise on matters related to supported housing
- Give the Secretary of State power to introduce national support standards
- Give local authorities power to create local licensing schemes for exempt accommodation; and
- Give the Secretary of State an option to introduce a new planning Use-Class for exempt accommodation
The webinar will consider the background of the Bill and the Committee’s report and critically examine some of its recommendations. It will also focus on the potential impact of these proposed reforms on housing practitioners in this highly specialised area of law.
Desmond Rutledge, Barrister, Garden Court Chambers (Chair)
Desmond's main area of practice is welfare benefits (where exceptional funding is available) and judicial review if this is the appropriate remedy. He is also a member of the Housing Team. His published work includes the Housing Benefit Update (Legal Action Magazine) and the Housing Law Handbook (Law Society 2021).
Desmond’s cases on exempt accommodation include Birmingham City Council v SS and SA (Roshni intervening)  EWCA Civ 1211)  AACR 8, in which the Court of Appeal clarifies the approach to be taken when restricting the amount of housing benefit payable to claimants renting rooms in a women’s refuge. As well as Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council v Salisbury Independent Living Ltd  EWCA Civ 84, on whether a landlord of exempt accommodation has a right of appeal against a housing benefit decision as a "person affected" where it has lost contact with the tenant or the tenant has died.
Tim Baldwin, Barrister, Garden Court Chambers
Tim Baldwin is ranked in Chambers UK for Social Housing and Community Care, and is identified as a leading junior in the Legal 500 for Social Housing; Court of Protection and Community Care; and Administrative Law and Human Rights. Tim is known for his fierce commitment to representing vulnerable, marginalised and disadvantaged clients. He has appeared in a number of reported cases in the Court of Appeal, High Court, Upper Tribunal, as well as significant inquests.
Tim has acted in housing cases where the tenant has mental health issues and specialist community care needs or in complex cases involving welfare benefits, and complex cases concerning social care for adults or children. He has also represented vulnerable tenants in local authority possession proceedings and in claims against local authorities and landlords, especially for disrepair and unlawful eviction. Tim has advised Local Authorities as to their powers and policies on providing exempt accommodation
Tim also covers homelessness and has advised on the lawfulness and completeness of schemes for the allocation of social housing.
Georgie Rea, Barrister, Garden Court Chambers
Georgie is developing a broad public law practice, whilst specialising in immigration and asylum, housing, education, and community care. Georgie has a detailed knowledge of possession proceedings, having previously worked as a self-employed County Court Advocate.
She regularly conducts work across all areas of housing law, including homelessness, possession and disrepair, in addition to accommodation-related aspects of community care law. She provides practical advice relating to directions, evidence and creative settlement solutions in complex cases.
Georgie has successfully defended possession claims brought by both private and public landlords, on statutory and public law grounds.