Welsh Government’s Renting Homes White Paper – a response

IN RESPONSE TO THE RECENT WELSH GOVERNMENT WHITE PAPER ON RENTING HOMES, CHRISTINE RUTSON, HEAD OF SUPPORT SERVICES AT UNITED WELSH, WRITES ON PROPOSED CHANGES TO THE WAY SUPPORTED HOUSING IS MANAGED:

The Welsh Government’s Renting Homes White Paper (section 6.55 to 6.61) seeks to introduce a clear framework for occupancy of supported housing, ending the current confusion around when it is appropriate (or even legal) to use excluded licences ( licences excluded from the Protection from Eviction Act, which give an individual no legal protection from eviction, including immediate eviction).

Our supported housing development Ty'r Fesen

Our supported housing development Ty’r Fesen

I am fully behind the argument in Cymorth Cymru’s response to the Renting Homes White Paper consultation that short term temporary shared supported housing e.g. refuges and hostels need the flexibility provided by the use of licence agreements . In this case licenses allow effective management of what can be quite crowded and chaotic environments where individuals are unable to protect themselves from the behaviour of fellow residents due to the lack of a fully self-contained home to retreat to in the face of aggression or other threats to their safety or well-being. We also need to be able to act effectively to deal with risks posed to staff working in a very exposed environment.

I also agree with Cymorth that the use of standard licence agreements with designated right of appeal, would protect occupants from any potential abuse of power on the part of landlords or support providers.

But do we really need to advocate for the use of licences for self-contained supported housing? I think we are better housing managers and support providers than that!

When it comes to self-contained temporary supported housing I think that we should be able to manage this with the proposed standard contract together with the additional powers provided by the enhanced management period. It would certainly be easier to use licenses but I would argue that working together effectively, with proper use of exclusions and injunctions for longer term issues we should be able to manage this type of accommodation. I also think that if we are preparing people to live independently, part of that is to support them to conduct a tenancy appropriately. Finally I think that there is an ethical and legal and human rights problem in not offering the maximum security compatible with the type of project.

For more information on United Welsh’s Supported Housing service, click here.

Ty Oborne in Caerphilly

Ty Oborne in Caerphilly

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