What Is Supported Housing & How Has The Law Changed Recently?
Key Contact: Damien Cann
Author: Sam Evans
On 29th June 2023, the Supported Housing (Regulatory Oversight) Act 2023 entered into force. The Act covers exempt supported housing providers that are not subject to Housing Benefit caps operating in the private rented sector. This has resulted in higher payments to providers of this accommodation creating an opportunity for rogue operators to profit from higher rents without the expected levels of care, support, or supervision to the vulnerable residents being housed.
Whilst there are a plethora of new changes in the Act, three changes, in particular, will be relevant for supported housing or exempt accommodation providers:
- Minimum standard setting for supported housing. For the first time, the Act grants the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing, and Communities the power to implement minimum standards with respect to the condition of the premises used for supported housing. Such standards will be kept under review by the Secretary of State and so providers should continue to monitor potential changes.
- New licensing regime for supported housing. The Act grants local housing authorities the right to oversee various conditions that might be required for a license to be granted, such as the standard of accommodation, the use of accommodation, or the provision of care, support, or supervision. Note the precise licensing regulations will follow in later secondary legislation to be passed by the Secretary of State.
- Planning use class. The Act grants the Secretary of State the power to designate supported housing as a new planning use class under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. This could potentially impose further burdens on providers who wish to provide supported accommodation.
If you are a supported housing provider and would like to discuss the recent changes, please don’t hesitate to contact our award-winning Real Estate Team.