Assisted boarding houses

Assisted boarding houses provide accommodation and other services to people who have additional needs because of age-related frailty, mental illness or disability. There are only about 20 authorised assisted boarding houses currently operating.

This is changed

Prior to the Boarding Houses Act 2012 (the BH Act), assisted boarding houses were known as ‘licensed boarding houses’ or ‘licensed residential centres’ (LRCs), and were regulated under the Youth and Community Services Act 1973 (NSW) the YACS Act.

Part 4 of the BH Act applies only to assisted boarding houses. Proprietors of assisted boarding houses are required to apply to NSW Ageing, Disability and Home Care (ADHC) for authorisation. As a requirement of authorisation, the proprietor must comply with various conditions in the BH Act and the Boarding Houses Regulation 2013 (NSW) (section 43). The conditions deal with a wide range of matters, including:

  • Record-keeping;
  • Reporting of certain incidents to ADHC;
  • Staff levels, skills and qualifications;
  • The maximum number of residents and their sleeping arrangements;
  • Residents’ clothing and toiletries;
  • Toilet, laundry, dining and other facilities;
  • Residents’ access to support services, recreation and maintenance of personal relationships;
  • Medication and health monitoring; and
  • Food and nutrition.

ADHC can inspect assisted boarding houses (sections 76-78), issue compliance notices (section 79), prosecute breaches (sections 80 and 96) and suspend or revoke authorisations (section 65). The BH Act provides for a stronger regulation of assisted boarding houses than the Youth and Community Services Act 1973(NSW), but housing and disability advocates remain concerned that congregated accommodation, operated for profit, institutionalises and exploits people with disability.