This is … interesting. Since Home Assistant utilizes ZWaveJS (or OZW for long-time users), there shouldn’t be anything special needed on the Home Assistant side beyond whatever would make similar devices from this integration work. Leviton also makes some Zigbee and Wi-Fi devices (and perhaps more I’m not aware of), but this appears to be focused soley on Z-Wave. With all that in mind, this really seems more like a Z-Wave/ZWaveJS thing than a Home Assistant thing to me (though I know some/many ZWaveJS devs contribute to both). But I guess it maybe it’s helpful to call out specific vendors/products that are less likely to be problematic, or even particularly helpful, like providing firmware (though again, that should be usable on any [OTA-capable] platform)?
I do see from their “works with” announcement:
There are manufacturers that are creating products that integrate into Home Assistant using standards like Z-Wave, Zigbee, or Matter (soon). In these cases, the integration is maintained by the Home Assistant community and Nabu Casa. These companies can still become a member of the Works with Home Assistant program but are relieved from integration maintenance.
I guess this would be easy for nearly any Z-Wave manufacturer to do, then and is more or less consistent with the above.
Regarding the program in general,
The program requires manufacturers to maintain the integration of their products in Home Assistant, offer a good user experience, provide product samples and give us an engineering contact to escalate issues. In return, manufacturers will be able to use the “Works with Home Assistant” badge on their products and documentation. The terms of the Works with Home Assistant program are enforced in an agreement signed by both Nabu Casa and the manufacturer.
So maybe they require a product sample to make sure it actually works, even for “standard” protocols like Z-Wave? (Not a bad idea given that certification isn’t exactly a fix-all.)
I do understand their goals here, even though I think they might be overly optimistic about a few things, including how much having an vendor contact will help (if they don’t want to work on the integration anymore, they can still just stop, “works with” badge be darned), how much they’ll want to herd cattle to sort out this kind of thing in the first place, and how much anyone beyond nerds who already know how to figure out most of this stuff (with due respect to how far HASS has come in the last few years) will care about “works with Home Assistant” in the first place.
But that’s another story, I guess. Glad to see some vendors are willing to help make sure their products integrate as expected, and hopefully the vendors’ apparent cooperation will be helpful for users across any platform. (I think ZWaveJS, probably mostly Home Assistant users, were largely responsible for getting SiLabs to address the recent 700-series-controller lockup bug — not exactly the same, but similar idea.)