Are you ready for the Supported Housing (Regulatory Oversight) Act 2023?

By Nick Sedgwick · 12 March 2024

If you are a supported housing provider, you need to be aware of the new regulations that are about to come into force. The Support Housing (Regulatory Oversight) Act 2023 aims to tackle poor quality supported housing and protect residents. Consultation on how the Act will be implemented is expected during 2024.

The Act sets out the following changes affecting supported exempt accommodation:

  • New National Supported Housing Standards for England.
  • Appointment of a national advisory panel.
  • New obligations for local authorities including the need to publish a ‘supported housing strategy’.
  • Introduction of new licensing requirements by the local housing authority. The details and scope of this will be decided through the consultation process.

What’s covered by the Act?

  • Housing with care and sheltered housing where support is provided.
  • Housing with support for people with mental health problems, drug and alcohol addiction.
  • Supported accommodation for offenders.
  • Homeless accommodation (but not Housing First or floating support).
  • Refuges

How can we help you?

We have many years of experience of developing strategies and reviewing and improving services. There is a range of ways we can support housing providers and local councils to prepare for the changes the Act will bring:

  1. Assessing existing provision against the new service and property standards that will be established after consultation. Our experience allows us to offer well established methods to target the requirements of the Act:
    • Local supply and demand analysis for specific client groups
    • Review staff structures, roles and training
    • Review service standards and performance
    • Rent and service charges analysis to identify potential risks
    • Explore outcomes for residents
    • Property inspections to review suitability and condition
    • Assess financial performance of schemes
    • Gain feedback from residents and staff on the quality of services and properties
    • Train staff on the requirements of the Act so they can maintain compliance

 

  1. Supporting local authorities to develop a supported housing strategy. We have many examples of working with councils to write housing strategies and homelessness and rough sleeping strategies.
    • Reflect regulatory requirements when they are available
    • Create the evidence base for a strategy, collating data from many sources
    • Draw on examples of best practice
    • Local supply and demand analysis for specific client groups
    • Gain feedback from a range of stakeholders, including service users
    • Assess the quality of existing services and properties
    • Test potential priorities with a wide range of stakeholders
    • Draft the strategy, pulling together all this information
    • Support the approval of the strategy through governance structures

 

  1. Supporting housing providers to apply for a licence granted by the local housing authority. This is potentially very onerous for many providers, especially if they operate across many local authorities. At this stage, we need to see how the licensing schemes develop but key tasks will be:
    • Collate how to apply for a licence and the requirements for each local authority
    • Collate the corporate information required for licensing
    • Collate the information needed for each scheme
    • Analyse rent and service charges to identify potential risks
    • Complete the applications for licensing
    • Manage relationships with key local authorities, picking up more complex queries
    • Train staff on the requirements of the Act

Get Ahead

At ARK, we can help you to meet and exceed the regulatory requirements so you can feel confident you are offering the best quality housing and services to your residents. If you would like more information about the changes the Act is introducing or how we can support you with your specific needs, simply get in touch with us for more information.

Nick Sedgwick, Associate – nsedgwick@arkconsultancy.co.uk

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