Homelessness: Temporary Accommodation

Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities written question – answered at on 22 November 2023.

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Photo of Rachael Maskell Rachael Maskell Labour/Co-operative, York Central

To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, if he will take steps to provide emergency accommodation to homeless people that do not feel safe in hostels.

Photo of Rachael Maskell Rachael Maskell Labour/Co-operative, York Central

To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, if he will take steps to ensure people that have experienced sexual violence are placed in Housing First accommodation rather than hostels.

Photo of Rachael Maskell Rachael Maskell Labour/Co-operative, York Central

To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what steps he is taking to work with (a) the Home Department, (b) local authorities and (c) the police to identify landlords that are suspected of sexually exploiting female tenants and evicting them should they be non-compliant.

Photo of Rachael Maskell Rachael Maskell Labour/Co-operative, York Central

To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, if he will take steps to instruct local authorities to provide (a) safe housing and (b) counselling support for women that have been sexually exploited by their landlord.

Photo of Rachael Maskell Rachael Maskell Labour/Co-operative, York Central

To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, if he will take steps to ensure women at risk of exploitation are placed in (a) local authority and (b) housing association accommodation rather than the private rental sector.

Photo of Felicity Buchan Felicity Buchan Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)

Local authorities have a statutory duty to provide temporary accommodation for households owed the main homelessness duty until suitable long-term accommodation can be offered to them.  The accommodation must be suitable in relation to the applicant and to all members of their household.

Housing authorities have a continuing obligation to keep the suitability of accommodation under review.

Everyone should be able to feel safe in their home and sexual exploitation of tenants has no place in our society. It is important that local authorities and the police work to tackle this issue and take action against criminal landlords.

The Renters (Reform) Bill, which has been developed in consultation with the Home Office and local authorities, includes provisions which will help to drive out criminal behaviour. These include increased investigatory and enforcement powers to help local authorities crack down on criminal landlords, and amending the Protection from Eviction Act 1977 to provide local authorities with new powers to issue fines, as an alternative to prosecution, to those who illegally evict or harass tenants.

Housing First is a model in which rough sleepers with the most complex needs are provided with stable, affordable accommodation and intensive wrap-around support to help them recover from complex issues and sustain their tenancies. This includes, but is not limited to, victims of sexual violence.

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