New laws governing the operation of Victoria's supported residential services (SRS) and providing better protection for residents are now in force.
Minister for Health and Ageing David Davis said laws under the Supported Residential Services (Private Proprietors) Act 2010 started on July 1.
"These new laws are designed to protect the safety, wellbeing and rights of vulnerable Victorians living in SRS," Mr Davis said.
"They give the Government stronger enforcement and monitoring powers, as well as more powers to act where there is a pattern of poor regulatory compliance.
"Residents will benefit from new financial protections, including the new requirement to set up a trust account for residents and new limits on the type and amount of up front payments that can be charged.
"New statutory occupancy rights will also reduce the risk of residents being unfairly made to leave.
"Proprietors of supported residential services will also benefit from a new streamlined administration process."
Supported residential services are private businesses that deliver accommodation and personal support to people who can no longer live independently at home, including older Victorians, people with disabilities and people with a mental illness.
There are currently 165 supported residential services in Victoria. SRS are registered and regulated by the Department of Health.
Mr Davis said the new laws detail the minimum requirements for operating an SRS including staffing, standards for accommodation, support and medication, complaint handling and set new mandatory reporting requirements for serious incidents.
"New staffing requirements will build the skills of staff in SRS, giving residents access to a better service," Mr Davis said.
"The accommodation and support standards have been developed to ensure that support services are tailored to meet the individual needs of residents.
"The Victorian Coalition Government is committed to supporting our ageing population and people with disabilities and to protecting the rights and well being of Victorians living in supported residential services."