Happy older woman on a sofa, symbolising comfort and contentment in well-regenerated housing for older people.

Will Supported Housing Take Centre Stage in the General Election?

By Nick Sedgwick · 23 May 2024

The calling of the general election in July will lead to further delay and confusion for housing providers.

The Supported Housing (Regulatory Oversight) Act came into force in August last year. However, we have been waiting for the promised consultation on how the Act will be implemented. The impact of the Act could be very significant for local authorities and the range of organisations that provide supported housing. 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 election campaign will put a hold on any implementation of the Act. We must ask ourselves whether any of the parties will make any commitments to good quality and sustainable supported housing. This is vital for all those who live in this desperately needed housing but also for the sector that has been under great pressure for many years.

DLUHC had started the process to recruit the members of Advisory Panel promised under the Act. This would be an opportunity for local authorities, providers and residents to influence how the Act is implemented. While much of the focus for the Panel would probably have been on what good looks like across a range of services, it would also have been the opportunity to make the case for the funding and other factors needed to allow supported housing to succeed. We’ll have to wait to see if the Act and the Advisory Panel survive the election.

ARK offers a range of services to supported housing providers. We can support providers to complete strategic reviews of their housing and services to make sure you are well positioned for any change implemented after the election. Get in touch to find out more.

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

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