Being responsible for over 800 different housing associations certainly isn't easy work. However, 2021 has witnessed the NHF holding their hands up and accepting their mistakes. It has also produced new regulations that will hopefully see the standard of exempt accommodation rise in the future.
It's no secret that the NHF would have done anything possible to avoid another year like 2021. The federation has promised changes across the board, resulting in better living standards for all. It has been said that they will hold the right to refuse entry to any association looking to enter the sector for the wrong reasons. The NHF will also remove existing members if they don't adhere to the new proposed ethos.
The change comes in response to the amount of exempt accommodation across the UK. Exempt accommodation is often used to house those who have little to no other options. For example, prison leavers, refugees, substance abusers, etc. Due to the minor level of care the associations provide, those living in exempt accommodation cannot access housing benefits. Housing associations are therefore charging more than regular landlords.
The NHF has received numerous reports highlighting some exempt accommodation as unsafe. Tenants have also claimed they have not received the support and help they were promised.
Whilst looking into exempt accommodation, they have also found links between not-for-profit housing and for-profit landlords. The problems are there for all to see, and the NHF has acted as quickly as possible to rectify them. With the new regulations coming into play as early as September.
In a statement from the chair of the NHF, Baroness Diana Warwick, she highlighted the great work of some providers.
"I am immensely proud of the amazing supported housing providers we represent, which deliver excellent services against an incredibly challenging environment. But they must not be confused with the actions of landlords entering the supported housing market for the wrong reasons. Primarily to make a profit instead of helping individuals and their local communities."
As The NHF strengthen their stance on those cutting corners, it's time that the negligent and rule-bending associations do likewise.
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