Exempt accommodation

Victoria McDermott made this Freedom of Information request to Kirklees Borough Council as part of a batch sent to 123 authorities

Automatic anti-spam measures are in place for this older request. Please let us know if a further response is expected or if you are having trouble responding.

The request was refused by Kirklees Borough Council.

Victoria McDermott

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am interested in understanding more about how your local authority manages its provision of “Exempt Accommodation”.

Exempt Accommodation in these questions is defined in legislation, namely accommodation which provides Housing Benefit claimants with exemption from the main HB rent restriction schemes that have been introduced from January 1996 ie:
• the local reference rent rules; and
• the local housing allowance rules.

1) Please complete the following questions below about the cost of exempt provision in your local authority in 2018/19, 2019/20 and 2020/21.

A) How much did you spend on the provision of “exempt accommodation”?
B) How many HB claims did you receive under the exempt rules?

2) Please complete the following questions below about the providers of exempt accommodation in your local authority for each of the following years: 2018/19, 2019/20 and 2020/21.

a) Total number of providers who received exempt HB funding
Of which were:
• Registered Providers (registered with the Regulator of Social Housing).
• Registered Charities (Organisations registered with Charity Commission but not with Regulator for Social Housing)
• Community Interest Companies (registered as a CIC on the Companies House register, but not registered with the Regulator of Social Housing or the Charity Commission).
• Local Authority (including those where the Authority is also registered with the Regulator of Social Housing).
• Other

a) Total number of units provided that received exempt HB funding for each of the following years: 2018/19, 2019/20 and 2020/21, of which were provided by:
• Registered Providers (registered with the Regulator of Social Housing).
• Registered Charities (Organisations registered with Charity Commission but not with Regulator for Social Housing)
• Community Interest Companies (registered as a CIC on the Companies House register, but not registered with the Regulator of Social Housing or the Charity Commission).
• Local Authority (including those where the Authority is also registered with the Regulator of Social Housing).
• Other

3) Please can you provide links to or copies of any policy/procedure or guide for the following:
• Strategic document setting out the Authority’s position on exempt HB housing
• Registration of provider/property for exempt HB claims
• Periodic revalidation of provider/property for exempt HB claims
• initial assessment of claims made by claimants for HB under the exempt rules.
• Validation of exempt HB claims in payment
• Ending an exempt HB claims by the Authority due to a concern.

If you have exempt HB accommodation but are unable to provide specific formal documentation please could you set out briefly how you administer each of these scenarios.

4) Please provide information as to the cost to the Authority for each of the following years: 2018/19, 2019/20 and 2020/21.
o Overall spend on Administration of Exempt HB
o Of which was administering exempt HB Claims
o Of which was administering provider or property
o Of which was enforcement activity associated with exempt HB

5) Thinking about complaints or action taken on complaints:
• How many complaints did you receive regarding properties registered for exempt provision in each of the following years: 2018/19, 2019/20 and 2020/21?
• How many properties have you removed from your register in each of the following years: 2018/19, 2019/20 and 2020/21?

6) What was the housing solution for Homeless people who presented to the Authority (or its referral agencies) in each of the following years: 2018/19, 2019/20 and 2020/21?
• Number housed in exempt accommodation
• Number housed in Temporary Social Housing
• Number Housed in specialist commissioned services
• Number housed in social housing
• Number housed in PRS
• Number housed in other

7) What is the primary need for Homeless People housed in exempt Accommodation in each of the following years: 2018/19, 2019/20 and 2020/21?
• Ex-offender
• Substance misuse
• Care Leaver
• Young Person
• Mental Health
• Domestic Violence
• Refugee Status

Yours faithfully,

Victoria McDermott

Freedom Info, Kirklees Borough Council

RE: 24453 - Exempt accommodation

Dear Ms McDermott,

I confirm receipt of your information request and that we are dealing with this and will respond to you in due course.

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 and Environmental Information Regulations 2004 allow up to 20 working days for responding to information requests.

If you are not content with the handling of your request, you have the right to ask for an internal review. Requests for internal reviews should be addressed to the Monitoring Officer, 1st Floor, Civic Centre 3, Market Street, Huddersfield HD1 2EY. Alternatively, you can send an email to: [email address].

Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.

If you are not content with the outcome of any review you have the right under section 50 of the 2000 Act to apply to the Information Commissioner for a decision as to whether your request for information has been dealt with in accordance with the requirements of the Act. The Information Commissioner’s website is at www.ico.org.uk and gives more information about the role and duties of the Commissioner. The ICO telephone helpline on 0303 123 1113 or 01625 545745 is available between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Yours sincerely,

Brad Sakaria-Flynn
Information Governance Team,
Kirklees Metropolitan Council,
Governance Service

Telephone: 01484 221000 (voice activated switchboard – please ask for Freedom of Information)

For more information about how we deal with your personal data, please see the Kirklees Council privacy notice

show quoted sections

Freedom Info, Kirklees Borough Council

Dear Ms McDermott,

 

Thank you for your recent enquiry.

 

From our preliminary assessment, it is clear that we will not be able to
answer your request without further clarification. 

 

The Council requires further information in order to identify and locate
the information you have asked for.  In particular, it would be useful to
know

 

Question 7 is quite confused. I am not sure what is meant by primary need
and how it would be applied to the groups described. Please can this be
clarified.

 

Once you have clarified the information you require, I will action your
request.  If I do not receive clarification within a month, this question
will be considered to have lapsed.

 

o Under section 1(3) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FoIA), a
public authority need not comply with a request unless any further
information reasonably required to locate the information is supplied.

 

o Under regulation 12(4)(c) of the Environmental Information Regulations
2014 (EIR), a public authority can refuse to answer a request that is
too general, provided the public authority has gone back to the
requester and asked for extra information, offering a advice and
assistance to help to explain, clarify or rephrase their request.

 

In this case the Council considers that the EIR apply / FoIA applies.

 

Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future
communications.

 

If you would like to discuss this email, please contact me.

 

Regards

 

Information Governance Team

Kirklees Council, Governance Service

Telephone: 01484 221000 (voice activated switchboard – please ask for
Freedom of Information)

 

For more information about how we deal with your personal data, please see
the [1]Kirklees Council privacy notice

 

 

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Victoria McDermott

Dear Freedom Info,

Thank you for your response.

For clarity I am seeking to understand the needs of people in exempt accommodation, hence the categories set out.

Yours sincerely,

Victoria McDermott

Freedom Info, Kirklees Borough Council

Dear Ms McDermott,

I confirm receipt of your information request and that we are dealing with this and will respond to you in due course.

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 and Environmental Information Regulations 2004 allow up to 20 working days for responding to information requests.

If you are not content with the handling of your request, you have the right to ask for an internal review. Requests for internal reviews should be addressed to the Monitoring Officer, 1st Floor, Civic Centre 3, Market Street, Huddersfield HD1 2EY. Alternatively, you can send an email to: [email address].

Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.

If you are not content with the outcome of any review you have the right under section 50 of the 2000 Act to apply to the Information Commissioner for a decision as to whether your request for information has been dealt with in accordance with the requirements of the Act. The Information Commissioner’s website is at www.ico.org.uk and gives more information about the role and duties of the Commissioner. The ICO telephone helpline on 0303 123 1113 or 01625 545745 is available between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Regards

James Dunn
Information Governance Team
Kirklees Council, Governance Service
Telephone: 01484 221000 (voice activated switchboard – please ask for Freedom of Information)

For more information about how we deal with your personal data, please see the Kirklees Council privacy notice

show quoted sections

Freedom Info, Kirklees Borough Council

Dear Ms Roberts,

 

I am writing in response to your request dated 08/07/2021. This has been
dealt with under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

 

May I first of all apologise for the delay in responding to your request.

 

The Council’s response to your specific questions is set out below:

 

I am writing to make an open government request for all the information to
which I am entitled under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 - related to
council houses that are in breach of statutory overcrowding rules.

 

This request refers to statutory overcrowding by both the ‘space standard’
(determining how many people may occupy a dwelling with regard to the
number of sleeping accommodation rooms in the dwelling and floor area of
the rooms) and the ‘room standard’ (determining how many non-cohabiting
people aged 10 and over of the opposite sex may share sleeping
accommodation) as defined by the Housing Act 1985.

 

For the calendar years 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 (separately),
please tell me:

 

1) How many statutory overcrowding breaches did the council record for
households housed by the council in each year? Please provide a breakdown
of breaches by a) space standard and b) room standard, and specify whether
households may be captured as both a room and a space standard breach. The
information is not held

 

2) The number of breaches of the space standard where more than two people
have lived in a home with one room? The information is not held

 

3) The number of breaches of the space standard where more than three
people have lived in a home with two rooms? The information is not held

 

4) The number of breaches of the space standard where more than five
people have lived in a home with three rooms? The information is not held

 

5) The number of breaches of the space standard where more than 7.5 people
have lived in a home with four rooms? The information is not held

 

6) The number of breaches of the space standard where more than 10 people
have lived in a home with five rooms? The information is not held

 

7) For breaches of the room standard, the maximum number of people
sleeping in one room as recorded by the council The information is not
held

 

8) How many households who have applied for council housing are living in
temporary accommodation

A snapshot figure for how many households were living in temporary
accommodation, at the end of each quarter, can be found by looking at the
relevant data for Kirklees which can be found here:- [1]Live tables on
homelessness - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

 

9) Please list all the types of temporary accommodation the council has
placed households in (including but not limited to: shipping containers,
caravans, B&Bs, converted office buildings, and any other kind of
accommodation).

Houses, flats, B&B hotels, serviced apartments

 

If you are not content with the handling of your request, you have the
right to ask for an internal review.  Requests for internal reviews should
be submitted within 2 months of the date of receipt of the response to
your original request and should be addressed to the Monitoring Officer,
1^st Floor, Civic Centre 3, Market Street, Huddersfield HD1 2EY. 
Alternatively, you can send an email to:
[2][email address]. 

 

Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future
communications.

 

If you are not content with the outcome of any review you have the right
under section 50 of the 2000 Act to apply to the Information Commissioner
for a decision as to whether your request for information has been dealt
with in accordance with the requirements of the Act.  The Information
Commissioner’s website is at [3]www.ico.org.uk and gives more information
about the role and duties of the Commissioner.  The ICO telephone helpline
on 0303 123 1113 or 01625 545745 is available between 9am and 5pm, Monday
to Friday.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Information Governance Team

Kirklees Council, Governance Service

Telephone: 01484 221000 (voice activated switchboard – please ask for
Freedom of Information)

 

For more information about how we deal with your personal data, please see
the [4]Kirklees Council privacy notice

 

 

[5][IMG]

[6]Website | [7]News | [8]Email Updates | [9]Facebook | [10]Twitter

This email and any attachments are confidential. If you have received this
email in error – please notify the sender immediately, delete it from your
system, and do not use, copy or disclose the information in any way.
Kirklees Council monitors all emails sent or received.

References

Visible links
1. https://www.gov.uk/government/statistica...
2. mailto:[email address]
3. http://www.ico.org.uk/
4. https://www.kirklees.gov.uk/beta/informa...
5. http://www.kirklees.gov.uk/
6. https://www.kirklees.gov.uk/
7. http://www.kirkleestogether.co.uk/
8. http://www.kirklees.gov.uk/stayconnected
9. https://www.facebook.com/liveinkirklees
10. https://twitter.com/KirkleesCouncil

Victoria McDermott

Dear Freedom Info,

You have sent me the response to someone else's FOI. Suspect its just a cut & paste error on a busy day. Please can you update with the response to my FOI?

Yours sincerely,

Victoria McDermott

Freedom Info, Kirklees Borough Council

Dear Ms McDermott,

Apologies for the mix-up please can you delete the previous email. I am currently awaiting a response from a service before I can send your response out, I will chase this up and make sure this is dealt with as priority.

Apologies for any inconvenience caused with the delay and the prior email.

Information Governance Team
Kirklees Council, Governance Service
Red Doles Lane, Huddersfield, HD2 1YF
Telephone: 01484 221000 (voice activated switchboard – please ask for Data Protection)

For more information about how we deal with your personal data, please see the Kirklees Council privacy notice

show quoted sections

Freedom Info, Kirklees Borough Council

Dear Ms McDermott,

 

I am writing in response to your request dated 21/06/2021. This has been
dealt with under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

 

May I first of all apologise for the delay in responding to your request.

 

The Council’s response to your specific questions is set out below:

 

Exempt Accommodation in these questions is defined in legislation, namely
accommodation which provides Housing Benefit claimants with exemption from
the main HB rent restriction schemes that have been introduced from
January 1996 ie:

 

•             the local reference rent rules; and

 

•             the local housing allowance rules.

 

The Council can confirm that it does hold information falling within the
scope of your request but believes that it would exceed the appropriate
time limit for complying with the request in order to provide it.

 

Section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 allows a public
authority to refuse a request if the cost of providing the information to
the applicant would exceed the ‘appropriate limit’ as defined by the
Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees)
Regulations 2004:

 

12 Exemption where cost of compliance exceeds appropriate limit

(1) Section 1(1) does not oblige a public authority to comply with a
request for information if the authority estimates that the cost of
complying with the request would exceed the appropriate limit.

(2) Subsection (1) does not exempt the public authority from its
obligation to comply with paragraph (a) of section 1(1) unless the
estimated cost of complying with that paragraph alone would exceed the
appropriate limit.

 

The Regulations provide that the appropriate limit to be applied to
requests received by local authorities is £450 (equivalent to 2.5 days (or
18 hours) of work).  In estimating the cost of complying with a request
for information, an authority can only take into account any reasonable
costs incurred in:

 

(a) determining whether it holds the information,
(b) locating the information, or a document which may contain the
information,
(c) retrieving the information, or a document which may contain the
information, and
(d) extracting the information from a document containing it.

 

For the purposes of the estimate the costs of performing these activities
should be estimated at a rate of £25 per hour.

 

The Council does hold information falling within the scope requested but
much of it is in a format that would require an extensive search through
records and a judgement to be made about whether particular documents or
extracts of documents were relevant or not. 

 

The Council believes that it would take a considerable amount of time to
extract and collate the information requested; it would need to go through
the approximately 200 ongoing HB claims for supported accommodation, which
will take roughly 10 minutes each, to determine whether they hold any
information falling within the scope of your request.  Taking into account
the likely costs of searching the records, the Council believes that the
cost of complying with your request would far exceed the appropriate limit
of £450. 

 

The request for disclosure of the information is therefore refused under
section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. 

 

Under section 1(3) of the Act, a public authority need not comply with a
request unless any further information reasonably required to locate the
information is supplied.  If a request is too broad or general in nature,
then public authorities have a duty to provide advice and assistance to
the applicant in order to focus the request.  Although the Council cannot
answer your request as it currently stands, it might be able to answer a
refined request within the cost limit. You may wish to consider narrowing
the scope of your request, for example by restricting the time frame or
selecting those items / issues you consider the most important, it might
be possible to comply, subject to the application of any exemptions. 
Please do be aware that the Council cannot guarantee at this stage that a
refined request will fall within the appropriate cost limit.

 

Although excess cost removes the Council’s obligations under the Freedom
of Information Act, as a gesture of goodwill, I have supplied information
relative to your request, retrieved or available before it was realised
that the fees limit would be exceeded. I trust this is helpful, but it
does not affect our legal right to rely on the fee’s regulations for the
remainder of your request.

 

 

1)            Please complete the following questions below about the cost
of exempt provision in your local authority in 2018/19, 2019/20 and
2020/21.

 

 A. How much did you spend on the provision of “exempt accommodation”?
            

 

We do not provide exempt accommodation as this is provided by the
landlords.  We provide HB payments but to calculate the number going back
to 2018 would take us over the allotted time.

 

There is currently approx. 200 HB claims for Supported accommodation.  To
calculate how much HB is paid for each HB claim would take approx. 10 mins
each HB claim which would take us over the allotted time for a FOI
request.                 

 

 B. How many HB claims did you receive under the exempt rules?

Currently approx. 200 active HB claims but we do not hold the number of
Exempt accommodation HB claims going back to 2018

 

2)            Please complete the following questions below about the
providers of exempt accommodation in your local authority for each of the
following years:  2018/19, 2019/20 and 2020/21.

 

a)            Total number of providers who received exempt HB funding

 

Of which were:

 

•             Registered Providers (registered with the Regulator of
Social Housing).

 

•             Registered Charities (Organisations registered with Charity
Commission but not with Regulator for Social Housing)

 

•             Community Interest Companies (registered as a CIC on the
Companies House register, but not registered with the Regulator of Social
Housing or the Charity Commission).

 

•             Local Authority (including those where the Authority is also
registered with the Regulator of Social Housing).

 

•             Other

 

We do not hold this information

 

a)            Total number of units provided that received exempt HB
funding  for each of the following years:  2018/19, 2019/20 and 2020/21,
of which were provided by:

 

•             Registered Providers (registered with the Regulator of
Social Housing).

 

•             Registered Charities (Organisations registered with Charity
Commission but not with Regulator for Social Housing)

 

•             Community Interest Companies (registered as a CIC on the
Companies House register, but not registered with the Regulator of Social
Housing or the Charity Commission).

 

•             Local Authority (including those where the Authority is also
registered with the Regulator of Social Housing).

 

•             Other

 

We do not hold this information.   We are not sure what you mean by units
as we only process HB claims.

 

3)            Please can you provide links to or copies of any
policy/procedure or guide for the following:

 

•             Strategic document setting out the Authority’s position on
exempt HB housing

 

•             Registration of provider/property for exempt HB claims

 

•             Periodic revalidation of provider/property for exempt HB
claims

 

•             initial assessment of claims made by claimants for HB under
the exempt rules.

 

•             Validation of exempt HB claims in payment

 

•             Ending an exempt HB claims by the Authority due to a
concern.

 

We currently have

 

If you have exempt HB accommodation but are unable to provide specific
formal documentation please could you set out briefly how you administer
each of these scenarios.

 

We do not hold this information

 

4)            Please provide information as to the cost to the Authority
for each of the following years:  2018/19, 2019/20 and 2020/21.

 

o             Overall spend on Administration of Exempt HB

 

o             Of which was administering exempt HB Claims

 

o             Of which was administering provider or property

 

o Of which was enforcement activity associated with exempt HB

 

 

To answer this we would need to go into each HB claim and calculate how
much HB each HB claim received  this would take approximately 10 minutes
each claim at 200 claims.  Again we only provide HB payments for exempt
accommodation.  The requester is again asking us to go back to 2018 which
would add even more time.

 

It is not possible to calculate the admin of Exempt HB as we do not
separate the costs of exempt accommodation HB claims from other HB claims.

 

5)            Thinking about complaints or action taken on complaints:

 

•             How many complaints did you receive regarding properties
registered for exempt provision in each of the following years: 2018/19,
2019/20 and 2020/21?

 

•             How many properties have you removed from your register in
each of the following years:  2018/19, 2019/20 and 2020/21?

 

This department does not deal with complaints against Exempt properties. 
That would be the landlords. Therefore we do not hold this information

 

6)            What was the housing solution for Homeless people who
presented to the Authority (or its referral agencies) in each of the
following years: 2018/19, 2019/20 and 2020/21?         

 

 

 

The Council does hold the requested information but considers this is
exempt under Section 21 of the Freedom of Information Act, because the
information is reasonably accessible to you by other means, because it is
already in the public domain.

 

Section 21 of the Act provides that:

 

(1) Information which is reasonably accessible to the applicant otherwise
than under section 1 is exempt information.

(2) For the purposes of subsection (1)—

(a) information may be reasonably accessible to the applicant even though
it is accessible only on payment, and

(b) information is to be taken to be reasonably accessible to the
applicant if it is information which the public authority or any other
person is obliged by or under any enactment to communicate (otherwise than
by making the information available for inspection) to members of the
public on request, whether free of charge or on payment.

(3) For the purposes of subsection (1), information which is held by a
public authority and does not fall within subsection (2)(b) is not to be
regarded as reasonably accessible to the applicant merely because the
information is available from the public authority itself on request,
unless the information is made available in accordance with the
authority’s publication scheme and any payment required is specified in,
or determined in accordance with, the scheme.

 

This information can be found online in the published statistics at
[1]https://www.gov.uk/government/statistica...
                                                                                                                                   

 

•             Number housed in exempt accommodation

 

•             Number housed in Temporary Social Housing

 

•             Number Housed in specialist commissioned services

 

•             Number housed in social housing

 

•             Number housed in PRS

 

•             Number housed in other

 

7)            What is the primary need for Homeless People housed in
exempt Accommodation in each of the following years: 2018/19, 2019/20 and
2020/21?

 

•             Ex-offender

 

•             Substance misuse

 

•             Care Leaver

 

•             Young Person

 

•             Mental Health

 

•             Domestic Violence

 

•             Refugee Status

 

Included in the following table are the support needs of all those who
were accommodated in exempt accommodation during the years specified. It
should be noted that there is no category of “primary need” and as such we
have interpreted the information we hold, to provide a data set which best
fits the narrow scope of the request.

 

  2018-19 2019-20 2020-21
Ex offender 57 40 32
Substance misuse 72 52 40
Care leaver 6 10 10
Young person 47 75 58
Mental health 110 78 63
Domestic violence 15 7 10
Refugee status 14 37 34

 

If you are not content with the handling of your request, you have the
right to ask for an internal review.  Requests for internal reviews should
be submitted within 2 months of the date of receipt of the response to
your original request and should be addressed to the Monitoring Officer,
1^st Floor, Civic Centre 3, Market Street, Huddersfield HD1 2EY. 
Alternatively, you can send an email to:
[2][email address]. 

 

Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future
communications.

 

If you are not content with the outcome of any review you have the right
under section 50 of the 2000 Act to apply to the Information Commissioner
for a decision as to whether your request for information has been dealt
with in accordance with the requirements of the Act.  The Information
Commissioner’s website is at [3]www.ico.org.uk and gives more information
about the role and duties of the Commissioner.  The ICO telephone helpline
on 0303 123 1113 or 01625 545745 is available between 9am and 5pm, Monday
to Friday.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Information Governance Team

Kirklees Council, Governance Service

Telephone: 01484 221000 (voice activated switchboard – please ask for
Freedom of Information)

 

For more information about how we deal with your personal data, please see
the [4]Kirklees Council privacy notice

 

 

[5][IMG]

[6]Website | [7]News | [8]Email Updates | [9]Facebook | [10]Twitter

This email and any attachments are confidential. If you have received this
email in error – please notify the sender immediately, delete it from your
system, and do not use, copy or disclose the information in any way.
Kirklees Council monitors all emails sent or received.

References

Visible links
1. https://www.gov.uk/government/statistica...
2. mailto:[email address]
3. http://www.ico.org.uk/
4. https://www.kirklees.gov.uk/beta/informa...
5. http://www.kirklees.gov.uk/
6. https://www.kirklees.gov.uk/
7. http://www.kirkleestogether.co.uk/
8. http://www.kirklees.gov.uk/stayconnected
9. https://www.facebook.com/liveinkirklees
10. https://twitter.com/KirkleesCouncil