Shabana has written to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government after a damning report into two exempt accommodations providers, Concept Housing and Ash Shahada Housing Association.
The providers were served a regulatory notice by the Regulator of Social Housing following a litany of failures.
You can read Shabana’s initial response to the report here.
In her letter, Shabana asks the Secretary of State to make an immediate intervention into the exempt housing sector to prevent further regulatory breaches.
You can read the letter in full below.
Letter to the Secretary of State
Dear Secretary of State,
I am writing to you regarding two reports published by the Regulator of Social Housing into Ash-Shahada Housing Association Limited C3843 and Concept Housing Association CIC 4780. Please find attached copies of the report.
It is my hope that you share my shock and abhorrence to the findings in this report. Both are large providers of Exempt Accommodation in Birmingham Ladywood and as such places them in the unique position of providing housing to some of the most vulnerable people in the UK. For both operators to be found to have “inadequate risk management processes and internal controls” should set alarm bells running across Government.
We also face the situation whereby Concept have been found to have “failed to manage its affairs with an appropriate degree of skill, independence, diligence, effectiveness, prudence and foresight”. For an organisation to be found so woefully underprepared to provide housing for at risk people demonstrates how broken the Exempt Accommodation is and how drastic reform is needed.
If that were not bad enough, Concept has been described by the Regulator as transferring “a very significant amount of the rent and service charge income it receives to third parties on an ongoing basis.” This should be of deep concern to the Treasury as the vast majority of income for this provider will be from public finances. As a result of inadequate regulation, we have found ourselves in the situation where tax revenue is being diverted to associates of Exempt Accommodation providers. I’m sure you will agree with me that this simply will not do.
Looking at the report on ASHA we see a replication of Concepts failings. They two transfer a very significant amount of rent and service charge income to third parties. The Government ignores this replication of failings at its peril.
Following these reports, I would like assurances that:
- Your department will undertake a review of all Exempt Accommodation providers and their ability to manage their affairs with an appropriate degree of skill, independence, diligence, effectiveness, prudence and foresight;
- MHCLG will seek to work with me in Ladywood to ensure that all complaints against Exempt Accommodation providers are thoroughly investigated; and
- The Government will set out a timetable for an investigation into the current regulations and guidance that underpin the performance of both large-scale and small-scale providers of Exempt Accommodation.
I look forward to your response.
Shabana Mahmood MP
Member of Parliament for Birmingham, Ladywood