— Knowledge base

We provide the only free knowledge base in the UK dedicated to Supported Exempt Accommodation

  1. Knowledge base
  2. Specified Accommodation
  3. Specified Accommodation
  4. What is supported accommodation?

What is supported accommodation?

Basic info

Supported accommodation” traditionally means a rented dwelling in which the tenant or licensee receives care, support or supervision that is linked in some way to their accommodation: as a general rule, the tenant or licensee would not be living in the dwelling in the first place unless they needed the associated care, support or supervision. Common examples of supported accommodation include:

  • A hostel for single homeless people where the landlord employs support staff to work with the licensees.
  • A self-contained dwelling which has been adapted or specially chosen for occupation by one or more severely disabled tenants who will receive care in the home. This might also be described as “supported living”.
  • Because there is a tenancy or licence for the dwelling, people who live in supported accommodation are usually able to claim Housing Benefit or Universal Credit to help to pay their rent or licence charge.
    • And if the dwelling counts as “Exempt Accommodation” or “Specified Accommodation” the Housing Benefit and Universal Credit rules are more advantageous.
    • You might also come across the unofficial term “supported exempt accommodation”, which people sometimes use instead of “exempt accommodation” or “specified accommodation” when discussing Housing Benefit and Universal Credit.

In the introductory paragraphs to his decision in R(H) 2/07, Commissioner (now Upper Tribunal Judge) Charles Turnbull used the term “supported accommodation” and summed it up as follows:

  • “[the landlord] provides supported accommodation throughout the country for people with learning difficulties. By “supported accommodation” is meant accommodation in which a measure of care, support or supervision is provided to assist the occupants to cope with the practicalities of day-to-day living.”

The term “supported accommodation” tends not to be used for:

  • A care home where residents are provided with personal care and accommodation as a package by the same person or organisation
    • Care home charges are not covered by Housing Benefit or Universal Credit
  • Domiciliary care that is not linked to the provision of accommodation
    • For example, when an owner-occupier is visited at home by a care worker who helps with washing, dressing and meal preparation
  • Floating support arranged separately from accommodation
    • For example where a support worker who does not work for the landlord and has no direct links with the landlord visits a person in their home to provide advice or support in connection with things like budgeting or substance misuse.
    • People who receive floating support or domiciliary care might be entitled to Housing Benefit or Universal Credit to help with their housing costs, but there are no special rules: they receive the same amount of help towards their rent, licence charge or mortgage interest as anyone else occupying similar accommodation and not receiving care or support.