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Supported Accommodation

What is supported accommodation?

Supported accommodation refers to properties which are usually provided by a housing association, registered charity or a non-profit organisation in which their tenants receive care, support or supervision to enable them to live or adjust to living independently within the community.

'Specified accommodation', of which supported 'exempt' accommodation falls under, is a term used in housing benefit where some of the rules that normally limit the amount of rent covered by a housing benefit award, do not apply. There are four types of specified accommodation. These are:

  1. Supported 'exempt' accommodation
  2. Managed properties
  3. Domestic violence refuge
  4. Local authority hostel

In some cases, residents may not wish to move into 'supported or specified' accommodation specifically provided by landlords for the purpose of receiving care, support or supervision and may wish to remain in their own home. For an assessment and for further information, please contact the Contact Centre on 01744-676767 or visit


Information for Tenants living in 'Supported or Specified' Accommodation

If you live in or are thinking of moving into 'supported or specified' accommodation as detailed at (1) to (4) above, you will have to claim any help you need towards paying the rent from the Council by way of Housing Benefit. Your landlord or care provider should assist you with this as part of the service they offer.

Tenants living in this type of accommodation should expect their landlord or care provider:

  • to provide accommodation, which is well managed, maintained and suitably located
  • to provide care, support or supervision which is more than 'minimal', is safe and effective and meets your individual needs
  • to help you make positive life changes and to attain the necessary skills and confidence to achieve independent living
  • to regularly review with you (and your family where appropriate), support plans and the support services being provided to ensure they are continuing to meet your needs.

Tenants can find out more information about what level of service is expected from providers of supported / specified accommodation in the council's Supported Accommodation Provider Charter. We would urge anyone who has concerns about any aspect of supported accommodation to contact us. This might be the safety or suitability of the accommodation or the quality of support that you are receiving. Please Tel: 01744 675184 or email


Information for providers of 'Supported or Specified' Accommodation

Supported Housing Improvement Programme (SHIP)

Our SHIP programme is an initiative being delivered on behalf of the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities. The aims of the SHIP project are to assess and, where applicable, improve the quality of accommodation and support being provided, with emphasis also on value for money.

A series of reviews and proactive visits to existing supported or specified accommodation will be carried out and any new provision will have to apply for supported/specified accommodation status via a gateway process. The project will operate until 31 March 2025.

Supported Accommodation Provider Charter

As a result of the SHIP project, we have developed a Supported Accommodation Provider Charter which sets out the vision of shared goals to achieve outcomes for some of the most disadvantaged residents across St Helens Borough. The charter details the level of service that is expected from providers of supported accommodation to ensure that it meets our local needs assessment, is of a high standard and delivers value for money.

Supported Accommodation Gateway

Any supported accommodation provider looking to establish a new scheme within St Helens, or any existing providers looking to expand their provision, will need to apply for supported/specified accommodation status via the supported accommodation gateway process.

Providers will be expected to complete a Gateway Questionnaire along with other supporting information, as requested. From the information provided, and in collaboration with other colleagues from Housing Standards, a decision will be made as to whether the proposal meets our local needs assessment, satisfies the supported accommodation conditions and offers value for money.

For further information or for any initial enquiries, please contact: 

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Last modified on 15 July 2024