Supported Housing (Regulatory Oversight) Bill

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

Alert me about debates like this

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

The hon. Member is nodding, and I suspect he would have liked that to make its way into the Bill in a stronger form than it currently has. I welcome the direction of travel of the commitment that has been given, but it would have been a much stronger Bill had those measures been a requirement on the Government. Oversaturation in certain areas is a huge problem, particularly in Birmingham, and it can only be dealt with if there is a planning requirement to get planning permission. That would enable local authorities to prevent oversaturation in their areas. There are streets in my constituency where a quarter of all the houses are now exempt accommodation. If we had proper planning powers and the ability to deny planning permission to people who want to turn these properties into exempt accommodation, a council would be able to prevent that from happening, and therefore prevent the saturation and the ghettoisation I have spoken of.

I really welcome this Bill. I do not believe that the Government have discharged their responsibilities to my constituents or people across the country sufficiently at the speed that is required—because, as I say, every moment of delay scars another community across our country for a long time—but I do welcome that they have at least supported this Bill. This Bill will pass, and I hope we can very quickly fill the gaps in regulation that exist so that all the vulnerable tenants across our country can get the support they need to turn their lives around, and no longer are communities scarred and damaged for a long time to come.