IRRV Newsletter 15th May 2023 to 21st May 2023

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Consultations / Inquiries / Surveys etc.


Consultation on Disclosure: Sharing Information on Business Rate Valuations (England and Wales)

The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) is asking for views on disclosing more information on business rates valuations. This includes having access to an analysis of the evidence used to calculate the rateable value of your property and an explanation of how evidence has been used.

The proposed changes follow the government’s review of the business rates system. VOA welcomes views from:

  • Ratepayers (including occupiers or tenants of non-domestic properties who do not pay business rates due to reliefs).
  • Landlords.
  • Rating agents.
  • Business representative bodies.
  • Local authorities.
  • Other stakeholders interested in the business rates system.

The consultation can be found at

Consultation closes on 7 June 2023. 

Consultation on Improvement Rates Relief (Wales)

The Welsh Government is launching a consultation on a proposal to provide improvement relief. This aims to support growth and investment in the tax-base. Subject to the outcome of the consultation, the Welsh Government proposes to provide the relief from 1 April 2024.

A copy of the consultation documents and the response form can be found at

Consultation closes on 8 August 2023. 


The Scottish Government and COSLA (on behalf of Local Government) are asking for responses to this consultation on council tax on second and empty homes. Specifically, the Scottish Government and COSLA are asking for views on potential changes to the council tax system and non-domestic rates thresholds for self-catering accommodation in order to take forward commitments to a fairer housing and taxation system; they are encouraging perspectives from the widest possible array of stakeholders from across the country.

Proposals in the consultation include:

  • Giving local authorities the discretionary power to enable a premium of up to 100% on second homes.
  • Giving local authorities the discretionary power to enable a premium of greater than 100% to be applied to both second (and long-term empty) homes.
  • Seeking views on whether the current premium on long-term empty homes should remain capped at 100% or if councils should have discretion to increase this beyond 100%.
  • Seeking views on whether the current non-domestic rates thresholds for self-catering accommodation remain appropriate.

The consultation can be found at

Consultation closes on 11 July 2023.


NAO Report: Investigation into Supported Housing (England)

This National Audit Office investigation sets out the facts on how the supported housing system in England works and government oversight of the sector. The Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities (DLUHC), and the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) are both involved with supported housing. The Department of Health & Social Care (DHSC) is also involved. Local authorities are responsible for managing the system within their areas.

The report can be found at

There has been considerable criticism of some supported housing, in particular, short-term supported housing. Some types of supported housing are exempt from locally set caps on Housing Benefit which means providers can charge high rents. This type of exempt accommodation was the subject of an inquiry in 2022 by the Committee for Levelling up, Housing & Communities (the Committee), to which the IRRV provided evidence. The IRRV response can be found at

The Committee concluded that some residents’ experiences of exempt accommodation were ‘beyond disgraceful’. The Committee also noted the lack of regulation and governance of providers, and ‘the exploitation of the system by people seeking to make profit from it’.

DLUHC/DWP - Commissioned research on Supported Housing [England, Scotland and Wales]

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) commissioned research from the (at Sheffield Hallam University) to assess the size, cost and demand of the supported housing sector. The study will cover supported housing across England, Scotland and Wales.

This research updated and built on the 2016 review; details can be found at

This was vital research to ensure government has the best available data for making decisions on the future direction of supported housing policy, to ensure residents in supported housing receive good quality support and accommodation which represents value for money. In England, this is currently focused on the Supported Housing (Regulatory Oversight) Bill, and DLUHC is also working closely with DWP on Housing Benefit (HB) rules which apply across Great Britain.

The research took a mixed method approach and included an analysis of secondary data as well as surveys of local authority Housing Benefit teams, supported housing commissioners, and supported housing providers. There was also be a series of in-depth case studies with supported housing providers, local authorities and county councils.

The research team at Sheffield Hallam University was keen to encourage all Housing Benefit and Revenue Teams as well as those involved in commissioning supported housing services to take part in the research.

DWP sent the links for the Housing Benefit Team survey and Supported Housing Commissioner survey via their Single Point of Contact within local authorities on 22 March 2023. If you were not aware of the survey but think that you or another member of the team is the most appropriate person to complete the survey for your organisation they should have contacted Dave Leather (part of the Sheffield Hallam University research team) and he was be able to forward the details for the survey directly to you

The research team also wanted to speak to those involved in the commissioning of supported housing in more depth. This could be via a discussion with a member of the team or by taking part in a case study. This would give you a chance to give your perspective on the factors affecting supported housing provision in your area and how this varies across client groups. All information collected as part of the study will only be seen by the research team, all data collected will be anonymised and not attributed to any individual or organisation in reporting. 

If you were interested in learning more about the research or to discuss what is involved in taking part the research as a case study area or via in-depth interview, they should have contacted Christina Beatty at    

The Sheffield Hallam research team are very grateful for the time given by respondents to complete the survey, to take part in the case studies research, or to take part in the in-depth interviews as it really makes a difference to the overall research and robustness of the findings. The research findings are expected to be published by the end of 2023.


The DLUHC and DWP Supported Housing research is going well and the response from HB teams to the survey has been good so far. There has been a more limited response to the Supported Housing Commissioner Survey.  The case study work is also still on-going. CRESR have therefore decided to extend the deadline for both surveys to 26 May 2023. Councils will have received a notice from DWP to this effect and indicating that an extension past this date can be requested.

If anyone wants to complete either survey but has not received one then please get in touch with the research team at and they will send one through.

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