The Exempt Accommodation Project

The Exempt Accommodation Project has been set up to resolve a growing problem for non-registered provider supported housing schemes. Such schemes struggle to obtain enhanced Housing Benefit for the Intensive Housing Management work that they do. Please see my Supported Housing Blog post.

Why are we doing this?

Local authorities are often unwilling to pay enhanced Housing Benefit in full to non-registered provider supported housing providers. This is because in such circumstances the local authorities cannot fully reclaim the enhanced Housing Benefit they pay.

And what this means is that a person with additional needs has their entitlement to Housing Benefit restricted if their landlord isn’t a registered provider. It is both absurd and discriminatory that a person with additional needs’ entitlement to proper levels of enhanced Housing benefit is entirely dependent on the legal identity of their landlord.

How does it work?

The Exempt Accommodation Project is doing a number of things:

  • Linking non-registered provider supported housing providers which own or lease their own properties with community-based registered providers which will take a short-term leasehold interest in these properties. This enables local authorities to fully reclaim enhanced Housing Benefit.
  • Providing the necessary leases or sub-leases and management agreements to make the arrangements work.
  • Providing an intuitive cloud-based system to enable both parties to fulfill the regulatory requirements of this arrangement. This system also manages a much wider range of supported housing management tasks.
  • Revising (enhanced) Housing Benefit claims to reflect the small costs involved. Also to ensure full cost recovery and to ensure that no-one is financially penalised. This includes working/self-funding residents and local authorities alike.

The registered providers are paid a recurring fee per tenant per week for their role. Supported housing providers receive full cost recovery through enhanced Housing Benefit. Residents live in properly resourced supported housing and self funders/working residents are financially protected through relief funds. Local authorities can fully reclaim from the DWP all of the enhanced Housing Benefit they pay and do so in the knowledge that they are funding supported housing providers whose services fit with their local strategic priorities.

This arrangement is unlike the typical registered provider/agency management agreement in which the cards are pretty much all held by the registered provider. The supported housing provider is actually the owner or head lease holder of the property/properties. Under this arrangement the registered providers involved are smaller, community-based registered providers. They perform a “light touch/arms length” role in relation to the supported housing providers. It’s a relationship of equals.

Please get in touch & get involved.

If you’re a supported housing provider struggling to claim enhanced Housing Benefit or a community-based registered provider with a social mission and a need for a good revenue stream please get in touch. We’ll put you in touch with a registered provider/supported housing provider partner, deal with the documentary/contractual side and renegotiate your enhanced Housing Benefit entitlements to reflect this arrangement.