Good lives through supported housing

Gary Bourlet with Mark Johnson at the launch

Last week, some of us at Learning Disability England attended the launch event for a research project.

It was around Supported Housing for People with Learning Disabilities and Autistic People in England.

The research looked at the scale, size, scope, and cost of supported housing for people with learning disabilities and autistic people.

Read more: Good lives through supported housing

They hope this information will go onto inform and influence future government policy in relation to accommodation and supported housing.

When Good Lives was being developed we heard how important a home was for people to live a good life.

People said we need to further support the commissioning and funding of new supported housing.

They also said the government needs to recognise the pivotal role of housing and create a more comprehensive and integrated national and local planning and policy framework for supported housing.

This research found that between 23% and 25% of the identified population of people with learning disabilities/autistic people live in supported housing.

It recommends that Government, local authorities and housing providers plan for further development of supported housing to meet the different needs of people with learning disabilities and autistic people.

The research found that 15% of people were living in residential/nursing care settings and the number living with family and friends remains at above 35% over the last decade.

By developing the right supported housing some of these people may be able to live with the independence and autonomy that may come with supported housing, if it’s right for them.

Mark Johnson, Golden Lane Housing tenant, chair of their ‘More Voices More Choices’ Committee and local parish councillor spoke at the event about how important supported housing has been in changing in his life.

Mark said ‘I love living in my home, I feel safe, happy and independent’.

He also said that ‘where I live means I can do lots of things’ such as running, volunteering and campaigning.

Whether it’s through supported housing or the many other types of housing that can enable people to lead a good life, it is clear we must recognise the importance of the right home for people with learning disabilities and everyone.