Harry NelsonPayers & Providers published an article on July 28th, 2016 written by Harry Nelson titled “California At A Crossroads On Sober Living Homes”. The article discusses recent regulatory updates/developments in the treatment of addiction in California. The unrestrained growth in sober living homes over the past five years has inflamed simmering tensions in many communities in California and the nation, leading to increased outcry from neighbors and neighborhoods.

“Is 25 years of federal protection for sober living giving way to regulation by state and local government? Is voluntary certification or licensing for sober living the answer? Will California join other states that have gone down the path of licensing sober living?

Over the past quarter century, the United States has recognized the right of “sober living” homes to operate without state or local oversight. These facilities offer drug- and alcohol-free cooperative living arrangements for people in the process of recovery from addiction. Explosive growth and attention to problems in sober living have led many states and local communities to rethink the status of sober living and explore ways to regulate. California is on the brink of being the latest state to pass legislation aimed at regulating sober living.

Despite their unpopularity with neighbors, sober living homes enjoyed legal protection from local oversight thanks to U.S. Supreme Court and other judicial decisions upholding federal laws, including the Fair Housing Act and Americans with Disabilities Act.”


Nelson Hardiman has extensive experience representing residential centers and group homes for recovery communities, the developmentally disabled, and patients with mental health issues. With unmatched experience and expertise, Nelson Hardiman is the law firm for behavioral care providers.


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