Lord Bishop of Chelmsford Portrait

Lord Bishop of Chelmsford

Bishops - Bishops

Became Member: 25th June 2021


Lord Bishop of Chelmsford is not a member of any APPGs
Lord Bishop of Chelmsford has no previous appointments


There are no upcoming events identified
Division Votes
Monday 17th July 2023
Illegal Migration Bill
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 5 Bishops Aye votes vs 0 Bishops No votes
Tally: Ayes - 200 Noes - 217
Speeches
Thursday 29th February 2024
Long-Term National Housing Strategy
My Lords, it is a great privilege to open this debate and I am grateful to all noble Lords who …
Written Answers
Tuesday 13th February 2024
Asylum: MOD Wethersfield
To ask His Majesty's Government what is the schedule for, and availability of, transport provided to residents of MDP Wethersfield …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
Wednesday 29th November 2023
Asylum Application (Entry to the United Kingdom) Bill [HL] 2023-24
A Bill to make provision for leave to enter the United Kingdom to be granted to people for the purposes …
MP Financial Interests
None available

Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Lord Bishop of Chelmsford has voted in 25 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Lord Bishop of Chelmsford Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

Speeches made during Parliamentary debates are recorded in Hansard. For ease of browsing we have grouped debates into individual, departmental and legislative categories.

Sparring Partners
Baroness Scott of Bybrook (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
(9 debate interactions)
Lord Sharpe of Epsom (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
(8 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Home Office
(15 debate contributions)
Scotland Office
(8 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
Legislation Debates
Illegal Migration Act 2023
(1,713 words contributed)
Nationality and Borders Act 2022
(1,315 words contributed)
Social Housing (Regulation) Act 2023
(1,300 words contributed)
View All Legislation Debates
View all Lord Bishop of Chelmsford's debates

Lords initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Lord Bishop of Chelmsford, and are more likely to reflect personal policy preferences.


1 Bill introduced by Lord Bishop of Chelmsford


A Bill to make provision for leave to enter the United Kingdom to be granted to people for the purposes of making an application for asylum; and for connected purposes.

Lords - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Wednesday 29th November 2023

Lord Bishop of Chelmsford has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


44 Written Questions in the current parliament

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
20th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the success of the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund in driving decarbonisation in the social housing sector.

The Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF) Wave 1 and 2.1 aim to install energy efficiency measures in up to 20,000 and 90,000 homes respectively. The latest statistics capturing progress across the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF) are published on GOV.UK.

The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) commissioned an independent evaluation of the implementation, effectiveness and value for money of the SHDF Demonstrator. Final findings will be published in due course.

DESNZ has also commissioned evaluation reports for SHDF Wave 1 and 2.1. The first interim report will be published later in financial year 2024/25.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
19th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they plan to publish a response to their consultation Improving the energy performance of privately rented homes, which closed on 8 January 2021.

We have carefully analysed the responses received to the consultation on Improving the energy performance of privately rented homes, and we will publish a Government Response in due course.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
19th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact on (1) household energy bills, (2) UK gas consumption, and (3) carbon emissions, of raising Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards in private rented homes to Energy Performance Certificate Band C.

In the consultation on improving the energy efficiency performance of privately rented homes in England and Wales, the preferred policy proposal would deliver energy bill savings of £220 a year on average by 2028. It would lower energy demand on the grid and support the transition to low-carbon heating, delivering ~6.1 MtCO2e of savings for Carbon Budget 5. These figures were published in the consultation, thus the energy bill savings do not reflect the current energy prices.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
10th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the case for annually indexing Local Housing Allowance to rent levels.

The Secretary of State (SoS) has recently completed his review of Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates for 2024/25. As announced by the Chancellor in the recent Autumn Statement, from April 2024 the Government will be investing £1.2 billion increasing LHA rates to the 30th percentile of local market rents. This ensures 1.6 million private renters in receipt of Housing Benefit, or the Housing Element of Universal Credit will gain, on average, nearly £800 per year in additional help towards their rental costs in 2024/25. This is a significant investment of £7bn over five years.

The SoS has committed to reviewing LHA rates annually, usually in the Autumn. The rates for 2025/26 have not yet been reviewed.

The department works closely with stakeholders, jobcentres, and local authorities to understand the impact of its policies.

Viscount Younger of Leckie
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
4th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the potential benefits of ending the freeze in Local Housing Allowance rates before April 2024.

As announced by the Chancellor in the recent Autumn Statement, the Government will be investing £1.2 billion in 24/25 increasing LHA rates to the 30th percentile of local market rents. This is a significant investment of over £7 billion over the next five years.

Secondary legislation is required for this increase, which will be laid in January and will come into force by 31st January 2024. This allows the Department for Work and Pensions and local authorities sufficient time to implement the rates from April 2024 and ensure claimants are paid accurately. Increases to other benefits also apply from April 2024 onwards.

For those who face a shortfall in meeting their housing costs and need further support Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) are available from local authorities. Since 2011 the Government has provided nearly £1.7 billion in DHP funding to local authorities.

Since October 2021, Government has provided over £2 billion to local authorities in England via the Household Support Fund (HSF) for them to provide discretionary support with the cost of essentials to those most in need. As with all government spending in England, the HSF has led to consequential increases in Barnett funding, which the Devolved Administrations can spend at their discretion.

Viscount Younger of Leckie
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
18th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the number of private renters who receive housing benefit and (1) qualify for the £650 support grant, and (2) do not qualify for the £650 support grant.

No assessment has been made.

However, the vast majority of people receiving Housing Benefit will be in receipt of another qualifying benefit for the Cost-of-Living Payment.

To support people who need additional help, the Government is providing an extra £500 million of local support. In England this will be via the Household Support Fund, which will be extended from this October to March 2023 backed by £421m.

The Household Support Fund helps those in most need with payments towards the rising cost of food, energy, and water bills.

The government will issue additional guidance to Local Authorities to ensure support is targeted towards those most in need of support including those not eligible for the Cost-of-Living Payments set out on 26 May 2022. Guidance for local authorities on how to distribute the fund will be released soon.

11th Jan 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the execution of anti-government protestors in Iran, and what discussions they have had with the government of Iran about this matter.

The UK opposes the death penalty in all circumstances. On 8 December and 9 January, the Foreign Secretary summoned Iran's most senior diplomat in the UK to protest Iran's continued use of the death penalty against protesters. This same message has been delivered repeatedly through our Ambassador in Tehran, and in London, including when Lord Ahmad spoke to the Chargé d' Affaires on 20 December. The UK remains committed to holding Iran to account for its repression of protesters. Since October, we have announced 50 new sanctions designations on individuals and entities responsible for human rights violations in Iran, including the Prosecutor General Mohammad Jafar Montazeri on 14 January, his deputy on 23 January, and other judiciary figures responsible for Iran's barbaric use of the death penalty for political ends.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the government of Iran about the release of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe; and what assessment they have made about the prospects for her release.

Iran's decision to proceed with these baseless charges against Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is an appalling continuation of the cruel ordeal she is going through. Instead of threatening to return Nazanin to prison Iran must release her permanently so she can return home. The Foreign Secretary raised her case, and the cases of Anoosheh Ashoori and Morad Tahbaz, with Foreign Minister Amir-Abdollahian on 22 September and 8 November. Minister Cleverly met with Deputy Foreign Minister Bagheri Kani on 11 November. We continue to engage with Iran at the most senior levels and our Ambassador in Tehran continues to regularly raise our detainees with the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Ministers hold regular meetings with officials to direct activity across the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Ofice aimed at securing the release of Nazanin and other unfairly detained British nationals.
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the number of British Iranian dual nationals detained by the government of Iran; and what support they are providing (1) the detainees, and (2) their families.

The welfare of detained dual British nationals remains a top priority. We lobby on health concerns and mistreatment allegations. We call on the Iranian government immediately to allow health professionals into Evin prison to assess the situation of dual British nationals there. We do not provide information about numbers of British nationals detained in a country when the low numbers involved may lead to individuals being identifiable.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office provides consular support to the families of dual British nationals detained in Iran whenever they want our support. We continue to raise their cases at the most senior levels, and discuss them at every opportunity with our Iranian counterparts. Our Ambassador in Tehran regularly raises our dual national detainees with the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
30th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what is the schedule for, and availability of, transport provided to residents of MDP Wethersfield to leave the site.

Those living at the site are able to come and go. The process for leaving the site is the same as the rest of our asylum accommodation.

To minimise the impact on the local services, and to ensure the orderly flow of people onto and off the site, a regular transport service is in place to take asylum seekers to larger local towns to access amenities and planned voluntary and community activities off-site.

This has been developed following consultation with key stakeholders in the Multi Agency Forum (MAF).

If off-site services are needed, transport services will be available by the Home Office’s provider.

Lord Sharpe of Epsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
30th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they intend to accommodate the planned maximum population of 1,700 asylum seekers at MDP Wethersfield, and if so, when.

The Home Office is using a phased approach; increasing the number of asylum seekers accommodated at the site over time, with the practicalities of managing the site under constant review. The site can accommodate 1,700 individuals when fully operational.

Lord Sharpe of Epsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
24th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that residents on the Bibby Stockholm can access outside space and the surrounding community without requiring inspection by staff or the use of scanners each time.

Those accommodated on the vessel are non-detained. However, movement in and around the Port will need to adhere to the health and safety requirements of the Port itself. Through our service supplier, the Home Office provides a bus service to take asylum seekers from the Port to destinations agreed with local agencies.

Lord Sharpe of Epsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
17th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Sharpe of Epsom on 11 December 2023 (HL597), how often is the doctor at the onsite primary healthcare available to hold in-person consultations for residents.

The site has on-site primary healthcare delivered by a local healthcare provider during working hours Monday to Friday. The medical centre is open for 12 hours on arrival days.

Healthcare provision on site is designed to be comprehensive and minimise any impact on local services. It is analogous to a conventional GP’s surgery with additional, bespoke, health screening capability.

Lord Sharpe of Epsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
17th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government how many days is a GP on site on the Bibby Stockholm each week; and whether they have plans to review this level of provision.

The medical facility on the barge is staffed 5 days a week to provide an onsite primary healthcare service with which the asylum seekers will register; this means individuals will not need to register with a local GP practice. The medical team has previous experience of working with asylum seekers.

This team provides care to the asylum seekers either on the vessel itself between the hours of 9am-5pm, or remotely (including outside of these hours).

Medical provision includes:

  • a qualified senior health professional, such as an advanced nurse practitioner or a paramedic on site 5 days per week - 9am-5pm
  • a GP onsite (one day per week) 9am-5pm
  • remote access to GP consultations when onsite care is unavailable or needs additional support
  • access to translation services is in place and this has been shared with local services
  • any prescribed medicines will be transported to the vessel for the asylum seekers
Lord Sharpe of Epsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
11th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what risk assessments are carried out when facilitating room-sharing on the Bibby Stockholm, and at what intervals this is repeated after the outset of an asylum seeker’s relocation to the vessel.

The welfare of asylum seekers is our utmost priority. The Home Office ensures that accommodation provided is adequate and regularly reevaluates to ensure it meets the regulatory standards.

Lord Sharpe of Epsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
23rd Oct 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of any potential benefits of extending Homes for Ukraine visas beyond three years.

In line with the situation in Ukraine, working closely with the Ukrainian Government, as well as our international counterparts, we keep the need for a possible extension of UK sanctuary, beyond March 2025, under consistent review.

The UK Government stands with Ukraine and firmly believes that Ukraine will be safe again. When it’s safe to do so, Ukraine will need the repatriation of its citizens to help recover and rebuild their economy and infrastructure.  Our approach therefore has been to provide 36 months sanctuary under our Ukraine visas which are temporary and do not lead to settlement.

We are, however, also mindful that permission will start to expire, for the first arrivals under our Ukrainian schemes, from March 2025, and their need for certainty beyond that point to help them to plan ahead, for example if remaining in the UK, entering into rental agreements and living here independently.

15th Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the status of the £400 million debt owed to the government of Iran for the non-delivery of Chieftain tanks in 1979; and what steps they are taking to repay it.

Her Majesty’s Government acknowledges International Military Services’ debt and remains committed to exploring all options for a practicable and legally-viable means of discharging it, and intensive efforts are underway to that end. We will not, however, comment further while legal proceedings are ongoing.

10th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the case for 10-year rent settlements for social homes to create certainty for social housing providers.

The government recognises the value of longer-term rent certainty for Registered Providers of social housing, and continues to support the principle that social housing rents should be index-linked over the long-term. We will consult on future social housing rent policy in due course. That policy will need to strike an appropriate balance between protecting tenants, protecting taxpayers by limiting the costs associated with social housing rents, supporting investment in and management of social housing and supporting the delivery of new homes.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
10th Jan 2024
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the case for establishing a commission on affordable housing to set levels of grant for affordable housing based on expert projections.

The Government does not set grant rates for affordable housing in our Affordable Homes Programme. Grant rates are assessed on a scheme-by-scheme basis and are benchmarked against national, local and scheme type averages to ensure bids are competitive on both costs and outputs.

It is right that we keep grant rates flexible to best support the sector to deliver a wide variety of interventions, whilst also ensuring that our assessment criteria drives good value for money.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
4th Dec 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to increase grant funding for social housing delivery to reflect the decrease in the number of planning applications being made, and a probable decrease in the number of section 106 social homes being built as a result.

The provision of affordable housing is part of the Government's plan to build more homes and provide aspiring homeowners with a step onto the housing ladder.

Our £11.5 billion Affordable Homes Programme will deliver thousands of affordable homes for both rent and to buy right across the country.

The Levelling Up White Paper committed to increasing the supply of social rented homes and a large number of the new homes delivered through our Affordable Homes Programme will be for social rent.

For the first time we are allowing the use of grant towards replacement homes on regeneration schemes where there is a positive impact on overall housing supply. This will mean that more regeneration schemes become viable and we can begin to replace outdated, inefficient, and poor quality stock with new housing, whilst meeting the Affordable Homes Programme objective of increasing supply.

The housing sector has experienced an increase in the cost of borrowing and materials due to wider economic pressures. The Government continuously works with its delivery agencies to ensure that the Programme is delivering effectively in light of these economic challenges.

Since 2010, we have delivered over 684,800 new affordable homes, including over 475,500 affordable homes for rent, of which over 171,100 homes for social rent.

Baroness Penn
Minister on Leave (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State)
20th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to tackle the issue of damp and mould in homes with children in (1) the social rented sector, and (2) the private rented sector.

Damp and mould can have a serious impact on children’s health and it is unacceptable for anyone to have to live in such conditions.

All rented homes must be free of serious ‘category 1’ hazards, including damp and mould, as defined by the Housing Health and Safety Rating System. In the social rented sector homes must also meet the Decent Homes Standard. We have recently tabled amendments to the Renters (Reform) Bill to extend the Decent Homes Standard to the private rented sector for the first time. We are exploring the merits of a standalone damp and mould standard within the Decent Homes Standard that all landlord must meet, to ensure that landlords are clear on their obligations to tenants.

Following the tragic and avoidable death of Awaab Ishak, the Government has also introduced Awaab’s Law in the Social Housing (Regulation) Act 2023. Awaab’s Law will require social landlords to comply with new requirements regarding timeframes for investigating and repairing hazards, including damp and mould.

Baroness Penn
Minister on Leave (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State)
20th Nov 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the empty homes premium since its introduction in 2013, with reference to the Local Government Association’s findings of 13 November that empty homes in England have risen by nearly 10 per cent in the past five years.

The judgement on whether to apply the empty homes premium, and the level of premium, rests with local councils. Through the Levelling Up and Regeneration Act, the Government has provided further flexibility to councils by enabling councils to apply a premium after a property has been empty for twelve months, rather than the current two years.

Baroness Penn
Minister on Leave (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State)
7th Sep 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of (1) their rough sleeping strategy, End Rough Sleeping for Good, and (2) their Rough Sleeping Initiative one year after its launch.

In September 2022, we published our new cross-government strategy ‘Ending Rough Sleeping for Good’, setting out how we are investing £2 billion over three years to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping. As per our commitment in the rough sleeping strategy, our external Rough Sleeping Advisory Panel, made up of experts across the sector, are supporting government to assess our progress and how we are achieving the commitments in the strategy and to identify any gaps.

The published, independently peer reviewed Rough Sleeping Initiative impact evaluation, found that the Rough Sleeping Initiative produced a net reduction of 32% in rough sleeping in 2018 compared to areas with no Rough Sleeping Initiative funding. We have extended our flagship Rough Sleeping Initiative to 2025, with over £530 million funding so that local areas can provide the tailored support needed to end rough sleeping. This includes an additional investment of £34.6 million announced in September 2023, to increase funding of rough sleeping services in local areas with the greatest need and to maximise impact.

Baroness Swinburne
Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
31st Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they plan to calculate the affordability of housing on the basis of the income of potential tenants.

There are no plans to change the definition of affordable housing set out in the National Planning Policy Framework. The definition makes it clear that 80% is the ceiling that social housing providers have to meet in order for it to be classified as affordable housing for rent, but can be set lower in order to meet the needs of local residents.

Social Rent is a tenure which is already assessed based on local earnings. It is calculated by using 30% of the property's relative value (based back to 1999), 70% of the relative local income levels (based back to 1999) and applying a weighting based on the number of bedrooms so that smaller properties will have lower rents.

Our Levelling Up White Paper commits to increasing the number of social rent homes.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
31st Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government, given the current definition of affordable housing in the National Planning Policy Framework, whether they consider that rents set at 80 per cent of market rates should continue to be described as 'affordable rent' when this represents more than a third of the income of the average tenant in such accommodation.

There are no plans to change the definition of affordable housing set out in the National Planning Policy Framework. The definition makes it clear that 80% is the ceiling that social housing providers have to meet in order for it to be classified as affordable housing for rent, but can be set lower in order to meet the needs of local residents.

Social Rent is a tenure which is already assessed based on local earnings. It is calculated by using 30% of the property's relative value (based back to 1999), 70% of the relative local income levels (based back to 1999) and applying a weighting based on the number of bedrooms so that smaller properties will have lower rents.

Our Levelling Up White Paper commits to increasing the number of social rent homes.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
19th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of raising the threshold at which affordable housing quotas apply, from developments of 10 houses to developments of (1) 40, and (2) 50 houses, on the creation of affordable housing stock.

In August 2020, HMG consulted on raising the threshold at which affordable housing contributions are required from 10 units to 40 or 50 units. This was proposed as part of the 'Changes to the Current Planning System'.

The analysis undertaken at the time was reported as part of the consultation.

A decision was taken in April 2021 not to take forward the proposal at that stage. We keep this situation under review but the reasons that applied in our decision not to proceed in 2021 remain powerful.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
19th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they remain committed to building 300,000 homes per year.

Housebuilding is a priority for this Government. As the Secretary of State has said, we remain committed to continuing our progress towards our target of 300,000 homes a year, as set out in the 2019 Conservative manifesto.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
19th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they plan to take to ensure that rent remains affordable given the increased cost of living; and when they plan to introduce the Renters Reform Bill.

The Government understands the pressures people are facing with the cost-of-living crisis and that paying rent is often a tenant's biggest monthly expense.

Ensuring a fair deal for renters remains a priority for the Government. Legislation will be announced in the usual way.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
10th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they plan to include a revision of the definition of affordable housing in the National Planning Policy Framework review.

We have no current plans to modify the definition of affordable housing. Any review of the National Planning Policy Framework will be consulted on.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
10th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to address pressures on those hosting Ukrainian refugees through the Homes for Ukraine scheme in order to avoid unintended consequences, such as relationship breakdown or homelessness, where alternative solutions cannot be found for their guests.

Local councils have a responsibility to support Ukrainians who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, including providing temporary accommodation where required to ensure no family is without a roof over their head.

The Government is providing £10,500 per person to councils under the Homes for Ukraine scheme to enable them to provide support to individuals and families, including in the minority of cases where someone is left without accommodation.

The Government has updated the guidance on rematching in case of relationship breakdowns and for who are not ready to leave sponsorship and move into their own alternative accommodation, but are unable to extend their sponsorship with the current host, following the end of their initial stay.

We have also provided councils with £316 million for this year (2022) to help prevent and meet the costs of homelessness.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
26th Sep 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what measures they are taking to ensure (1) Afghan, and (2) Ukrainian, refugees are moved from temporary accommodation into more stable, long-term housing arrangements.

The Government is working with councils to find families settled homes as quickly as possible. It is right that we take time to ensure that families are provided with suitable homes that support their integration and access to education and employment.

In addition to the funding local authorities receive for integration support costs, a £25.5million Housing Costs fund is available to local authorities to help meet the costs of housing. Funding provided to support integration can also be used towards costs needed to enable families to secure accommodation, including deposits and upfront rent, enabling families to fund their own accommodation.

We are working with Rightmove to identify potential properties available in the private rented sector. This provides councils with additional information to source appropriate properties. Our improved Housing Portal also allows property owners and organisations to submit offers of housing for people who have arrived from Afghanistan.

We are also working with councils to make it easier for Afghan families who are currently in bridging hotels to find and secure their own accommodation. We have formalised this as the 'Find Your Own Accommodation' pathway, and we have developed a supplementary training package to enable councils to support individuals and families throughout this process. We have also worked with the Ministry of Defence to make use of Service Family Accommodation and we are working directly with developers and educational bodies to consider alternative accommodation options.

We are working closely with local councils and voluntary and community sector partners to monitor the housing landscape for Ukrainian households, develop our strategy and actively explore options to find suitable long-term accommodation for those who are likely to stay in the UK beyond the initial six months. We have provided a tariff of £10,500 per arrival to councils to enable them to provide support to individuals and families. This is un-ringfenced, which allows councils to use the funding as best suits the local area, including measures to support guests to access the private rental market.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
26th Sep 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what measures they are taking to assist Afghan refugees currently housed in poor-quality temporary accommodation.

The Government is working with councils to find families settled homes as quickly as possible. It is right that we take time to ensure that families are provided with suitable homes that support their integration and access to education and employment.

In addition to the funding local authorities receive for integration support costs, a £25.5million Housing Costs fund is available to local authorities to help meet the costs of housing. Funding provided to support integration can also be used towards costs needed to enable families to secure accommodation, including deposits and upfront rent, enabling families to fund their own accommodation.

We are working with Rightmove to identify potential properties available in the private rented sector. This provides councils with additional information to source appropriate properties. Our improved Housing Portal also allows property owners and organisations to submit offers of housing for people who have arrived from Afghanistan.

We are also working with councils to make it easier for Afghan families who are currently in bridging hotels to find and secure their own accommodation. We have formalised this as the 'Find Your Own Accommodation' pathway, and we have developed a supplementary training package to enable councils to support individuals and families throughout this process. We have also worked with the Ministry of Defence to make use of Service Family Accommodation and we are working directly with developers and educational bodies to consider alternative accommodation options.

We are working closely with local councils and voluntary and community sector partners to monitor the housing landscape for Ukrainian households, develop our strategy and actively explore options to find suitable long-term accommodation for those who are likely to stay in the UK beyond the initial six months. We have provided a tariff of £10,500 per arrival to councils to enable them to provide support to individuals and families. This is un-ringfenced, which allows councils to use the funding as best suits the local area, including measures to support guests to access the private rental market.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
26th Sep 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the longer-term sustainability of the Homes for Ukraine Scheme.

We are working closely with local councils and voluntary and community sector partners to monitor the housing landscape for Ukrainian households, develop our strategy and actively explore options to find suitable long-term accommodation for those who are likely to stay in the UK beyond the initial six months. We are also supporting Ukrainians that want to stay in sponsorships for a longer period, but with a different host by enabling a process of rematching and will continue to develop our bank of potential sponsors.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
26th Sep 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to increase support to Ukrainian refugees and their host families, in particular to address increases in the cost of living.

We recognise the growing pressure on family finances, and the challenges that households are facing with the rising costs of living. We are working with local authorities and sponsors to support them to continue hosting.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
26th Sep 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to provide housing solutions to Ukrainian refugees in the UK to enable them to increase their independence.

We are working closely with local councils to understand where pressures may be and are actively exploring options to find suitable long-term accommodation for the Ukrainians who are likely to stay in this country beyond the households staying in the country beyond their initial sponsorship period. The updated guidance for the Homes for Ukraine guests, hosts and councils setting out all the support options available to them can be accessed (attached) here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/homes-for-ukraine-guidance-for-councils#four-to-6-months-after-guests-have-moved-to-your-area.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
26th Sep 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what measures they are taking to assist Ukrainian refugees in the UK who have been declared homeless.

Our priority was to get Ukrainians to safety as quickly as possible. As with any scheme of this size we anticipated relationship breakdowns which is why we put plans in place to address these risks


Local councils have a responsibility to support Ukrainians who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, including providing temporary accommodation where required to ensure no family is without a roof over their head.


Local councils’ statutory homelessness duties will apply in instances of sponsorship breakdown if the Ukrainian household does not have alternative suitable accommodation.

Baroness Scott of Bybrook
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
19th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they plan to consult on the Decent Homes Standard; and if so, when that consultation will be launched.

We are committed to drive up standards in private rented accommodation, and we will be consulting in due course on introducing a legally binding Decent Homes Standard in the private rented sector.

18th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the upcoming Renter's Reform Bill will include a cost cap for bringing homes up to the Decent Homes Standard, like there is with the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard.

We are continuing to develop the policy on introducing a decent homes standard in the private rented sector and will consider the potential for cost caps as part of our consultation and engagement with stakeholders.

18th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that, with the removal of section 21 evictions in the upcoming Renters Reform Bill, private renters are not forced out of their homes as a result of unaffordable rent increases.

In the Renters Reform Bill, we will introduce additional protections for tenants against unfair rent increases, while ensuring landlords can continue to make necessary changes to rent. We will allow increases to rent once per year in line with current legislation and will increase the minimum notice landlords must provide of any change in rent to two months. We will end the use of rent review clauses, preventing tenants being locked into automatic rent increases that are vague or may exceed market prices. We are clear that attempts to evict tenants through unreasonable rent increases are unacceptable. We will make sure that tenants have the confidence to challenge unfair rent increases through the First-tier Tribunal. We will prevent the Tribunal increasing rent beyond the amount landlords initially asked for when they proposed a rent increase.

18th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether, under the proposed changes to possession in the Renters’ Reform Bill, renters can be evicted every eight months with the new grounds due to no fault of their own.

The Government is committed to delivering a fairer and more effective rental market that works for both tenants and landlords. We will deliver the manifesto commitment to end Section 21 evictions; this will mean that a landlord will only be able to evict their tenants in specific circumstances defined in law and they must be prepared to provide evidence of this in court. Under our proposals, landlords will be able to get possession of their properties when they need to, these reforms will include mandatory grounds for if a landlord wishes to sell or move into the property with two months’ notice periods. To protect tenants’ security, landlords will not be able to use these grounds in the first six months of a tenancy. Our reforms strike the right balance between improving security for tenants and ensuring landlords continue to feel confident in the market.

18th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of how many private renters will not receive the one-off £150 energy rebate payment because the rebate money is paid directly to their landlord and not to the tenant.

Councils are expected to pay the council tax rebate to the occupants of an eligible property, not the landlord. Where a landlord of an eligible property usually pays the council tax as part of the rental agreement, the Government has asked councils to agree a payment method directly with the tenant.

18th Jul 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many county court judgements there have been for private renters for non-payment of arrears, each year for the past five years, across England and Wales.

A landlord of a privately rented property may apply to the court either as part of an application seeking repossession of the property, or separately to eviction action, for a county court judgement seeking repayment of rent arrears from their tenant.

Our case management systems do not record what a judgement debt relates to, this information is only recorded in the particulars of claim which would require manual reviewing of court files to extract and as such could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Published quarterly statistics on volumes of county court judgements can be found here – https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/civil-justice-statistics-quarterly#2022

Published quarterly statistics on possession volumes can be found here - https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/mortgage-and-landlord-possession-statistics

At the onset of the COVID-19 public health emergency, the Government took unprecedented action to protect tenants from eviction resulting in the majority of possession claims being stayed until 20 September 2020. This meant that possession claims could not progress through the court process including hearings and enforcement action by way of evictions. Since the lifting of the stay, private rented possession claims have largely returned to pre-covid volumes, but social landlord possession claims remain supressed and are currently sitting at around 60% of their pre-covid volumes.

Lord Bellamy
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)