Supported Exempt Accommodation Updates (June 2024)

The General Election on 4th July

1. On 22nd May 2024, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced a general election to be held on 4th July.1‘Rishi Sunak Announces 4 July Vote in Downing Street Statement’ (BBC News, 22 May 2024),  accessed 11 June 2024 

The Implementation of the Supported Housing (Regulatory Oversight) Act 2023

2.  Prior to Mr. Sunak’s announcement, the sector had been anticipating a series of consultations on the implementation of the Supported Housing (Regulatory Oversight) Act 2023 (“the Act”). Just before the snap election was called, Bob Blackman MP submitted a question regarding this matter. However, on 24th May, Jacob Young, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, confirmed that it had “not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.”2‘Written Questions and Answers – Written Questions, Answers and Statements – UK Parliament’,  accessed 11 June 2024

3. It follows that the implementation of the Act will not receive any further consideration until after the election. Even then, detailed work on secondary legislation under the Act will compete with other urgent policies for parliamentary time and the attention of the civil service apparatus.

4. Since the Act enjoys cross-party support, secondary legislation is still on the agenda, but the timescales for implementation (including the formation of an Advisory Panel) will be elongated.

Relevance for Providers of Supported Exempt Accommodation in England

Diverse SHIP Regimes

5. The new regulations will help streamline the multiple and varied approaches currently taken by local authorities to improve standards in supported housing. Until then, providers must continue to adapt to a patchwork of local arrangements.

National Standards and Local Policies

6. Future national standards are still discernible in the Government’s Supported Housing: National Statement of Expectations (20th October 2020) and the common contours of SHIP inspection forms. 3‘Supported Housing: National Statement of Expectations’ (GOV.UK) , accessed 11 June 2024 Providers may wish to develop their own internal standards checklists in response.

Licensing Regime

7. As providers prepare for a future licensing regime, they may wish to:

  1. Cultivate open and transparent working relationships with their local authorities.
  2. Understand the need for and existing supply of specific types of supported accommodation in their locality.
  3. Create a coherent bank of policy documents that need to be actively monitored and implemented.
  4. Meet basic internal benchmarks in relation to property-related standards and support standards.

HB Definition of Care, Support or Supervision

8. While the Housing Benefit definitions of care, support, or supervision are expected to be refined subject to future consultation, providers need to develop grounded policies and consolidate their support documentation (e.g., contact logs and support plans). They should focus on procedures, monitoring, evaluation, feedback, and continuous improvement within the existing framework.

The Shelving of the Renters (Reform) Bill

9. Commons Leader Penny Mordaunt did not include the Renters (Reform) Bill in the “wash-up” process that could have saved this piece of legislation. Consequently, the 2023-24 session of Parliament has now prorogued, and “this bill will make no further progress.”[note]‘Renters (Reform) Bill – Parliamentary Bills – UK Parliament’, accessed 11 June 2024 [note]

10. The Renters (Reform) Bill sought to improve conditions for renters and balance landlords’ and residents’ rights in the private rented sector in England. Among other things, it would have:

  1. Eliminated section 21 “no-fault” evictions;
  2. Given landlords new grounds for repossession;
  3. Afforded tenants the legal right to request keeping pets;
  4. Prohibited blanket bans on tenants receiving benefits;
  5. Applied the Decent Homes Standard to the private rented sector; and
  6. Reformed the court process to streamline the eviction process.


11. It remains to be seen whether the next Government will revive or extend any of these provisions.

© Martin Ward and Philip Parnham | June 2024

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