Supported Housing (Regulatory Oversight) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:33 am on 18th November 2022.

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Photo of Shabana Mahmood Shabana Mahmood National campaign co-ordinator 10:33 am, 18th November 2022

The hon. Gentleman is right, and I was just about to make that point. A complaints procedure is necessary to protect, for example, the two constituents whose case I have already highlighted. They are effectively being punished for escalating a complaint to their elected Member of Parliament. We need a complaints system in-built into whatever regulation emerges after the licensing provided for by the Bill, so that there is recourse to help and so that providers getting into the sector understand that if they fail their tenants they can be complained about and they cannot hold them to ransom if a complaint comes in. A complaints mechanism would be an important element of keeping everybody in this sector honest, if I may put it that way.

The good providers will have no problem in proving that they are doing good work and will pass any test required of them with relative ease. I can pinpoint exactly who is doing a good job in Birmingham and who is not. Anyone who has done any work in this sector knows who the good guys are and knows where the problems are. I do not believe that any regulatory threshold applying to every provider would in the end amount to a barrier for the good providers. None of us would want to see them driven out of this sector, but I do not believe asking them to pass the same test as everyone else would achieve that.