During last month’s Legislative Conference, FAC adopted a policy statement in support of state legislation defining and establishing minimum regulatory standards for “sober houses” or “recovery residences,” while also allowing for more stringent local regulations of such entities. Currently, there are no licensing or registration requirements for sober houses; however, similar community housing facilities that are operated by actual treatment facilities are required to be licensed pursuant to Florida law. Illegitimate sober houses pose various problems, including concerns about the safety of residents, consumer protection, and lack of accountability of sober house operators.
Last session, legislation addressing the issue failed, although budget proviso language did direct DCF to study the need for and feasibility of establishing a state regulatory scheme. While DCF’s findings were inconclusive, FAC has been working with stakeholders and expects bills to be filed in the very near future. Additionally, for those individual counties who are interested, the attached sample letter, which can be modified to reflect a specific county’s concerns, urges the Governor to support state regulation of sober houses. Please contact Susan Harbin for additional information.