Supported Exempt Accommodation – what is it and why is it important?

Supported housing in Scotland and the extent to which it may be exempt from various aspects of welfare reform – March 2013

The Housing Support Enabling Unit (HSEU), Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) and Homeless Action Scotland (HAS) set out to gather information about the extent to which supported accommodation in Scotland falls under the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) definition of Supported Exempt Accommodation (SEA). This has become an important question to address because:

  • the DWP intends to exempt supported housing from certainaspects of the changes being made to the welfare benefits systemand is relying on the definition of SEA to identify supported housing
  • the DWP is gathering information from local authorities aboutcurrent spend on supported housing (as defined by SEA) through the benefits system with a view to taking this element of housingcost out of the benefits system and devolving a budget to ScotlandA survey was sent to providers of housing support across all sectors in March 2013.

This report is based on 31 responses. Most of the responses were from voluntary sector organisations and housing associations.

Posted April 2013

Lord Freud has written to Sitra and other organisations to state his intention to find a solution that enables all supported accommodation to be exempt from the benefit cap, the removal of the spare room subsidy and for housing costs of tenants living in supported accommodation to be dealt with outside of Universal Credit when this is introduced.

The definition which is currently being used by the DWP excludes many existing supported accommodation projects.  Lord Freud states that the DWP are working to develop a solution to this unintended consequence and that this may involve changing the definition of supported exempt accommodation to ensure that all supported accommodation is included in the definition.

For more information about the current definition of SEA, have a look at the briefing and flowchart below.

Posted January 2013

The HSEU has collaborated with Sitra to produce a flowchartand briefing designed to help support providers in Scotland unpick thedefinition of Supported Exempt Accommodation (SEA).

This is important because SEA will be dealt with differently from other types of accommodation when Universal Credit and the Size Criteria are introduced later this year.

SEA_Briefing Jan 2013

Download the flowchart






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