Bill to enhance the regulation and oversight of supported housing receives Royal Assent

New Act includes provision for a new supported housing licensing regime to give local authorities increased oversight of, and enforcement powers relating to, its provision

A Bill to enhance the regulation and oversight of supported housing has received Royal Assent.

In the explanatory notes published alongside the Supported Housing (Regulatory Oversight) Bill, its main aim is summarised as –

'… to regulate accommodation services which are the subject of housing benefit legislation that has the effect of exempting residents from the benefit cap and maintains housing benefit as the source of housing support for them in welfare benefits. This accommodation is known as ‘exempt accommodation’ or ‘specified accommodation’ or more generally as ‘supported housing’. This Bill introduces various measures that will enhance local authority oversight of supported housing.'

Commenting on the new measures, Crisis said earlier this month – when the Bill completed its passage through Parliament – that –

‘Through our frontline services we’ve heard real-life horror stories of people being forced to live in intolerable situations – with people experiencing violent assaults and abuse 'at the hands of their landlord or living in maggot-infested, mouldy rooms.

This new legislation will give local authorities far more powers, enabling them to drive out rogue providers who are exploiting the system for profit. It should ensure that supported accommodation provides a safe home, much needed respite and a foundation from which people can rebuild their lives away from homelessness. Government must now back these new powers with the resources councils need to use them effectively.'

In addition, Bob Blackman, who sponsored the Bill, said

'I am delighted that my Private Members’ Bill has passed through its third reading in the House of Lords unobstructed today. This is the latest step on the way to introduce appropriate regulation in the supported housing sector, protecting vulnerable tenants and rooting out the rogue landlords who have entered the sector.

I look forward to the Bill receiving Royal Assent and becoming an Act of Parliament which will then trigger the necessary consultations with the sector and local authorities.

Rogue landlords are now noticing that their exploitation of the vulnerable is coming to an end. The thousands of good landlords, who provide help and support for the vulnerable, have nothing to fear from the new regulation.'

NB – in the second reading debate on the Bill in the Commons, the government committed to formally consulting on its measures ‘as quickly as possible’ following Royal Assent and to lay regulations for the licencing regime in the Bill within 18 months of the Bill being passed.

The Supported Housing (Regulatory Oversight) Act 2023 is available from