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What is supported exempt accommodation?

Supported exempt accommodation (SEA) is housing where vulnerable adults are supported to live independently.

SEA is also known as exempt supported housing. It could be accommodation for:

  • people who are homeless
  • people recently released from prison
  • survivors of domestic abuse
  • people with substance dependencies
  • people with mental health issues
  • refugees

SEAs are exempt from the usual Housing Benefit rules, which place an upper limit (cap) on the amount of benefit people can claim.

The reason for the exemption is that SEAs can be more expensive to run. Insurance, repairs and maintenance can all cost more for SEAs than general needs tenancies, for example.

Supported Housing Improvement Programme (SHIP)

We have been awarded £3.19 million in SHIP funding from April 2023 to March 2025.

This programme continues the work started in 2020 to improve standards and value for money within supported housing.

The multi-disciplinary team includes officers from:

  • community safety
  • housing
  • adult social care
  • planning enforcement
  • benefits

This team respond to complaints and carry out inspections to improve poor standards with providers on behalf of tenants.

They also inspect the properties of all new providers who apply for exempt status.

Who decides if a property is supported exempt accommodation?

Housing Benefit rules decide if a property is supported exempt accommodation.

SEAs can be provided by:

  • non-metropolitan county councils
  • housing associations
  • registered charities
  • voluntary organisations

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Page last updated: 6 November 2023