Supported Living

What is ‘supported living’?

Link Southwest Housing CIC believes disabled people should have choice and control over where, how and whom they live with, and who should provide them with the support they need to do this.

Supported Living separates housing and support so each solution is unique to the individual tenant. We source and secure good quality homes, while the right general social, domiciliary or floating care and support is provided by care provider organisations.

This can look different for different people. For example, it might be:

  •  living in a place that is rented through an assured or an assured shorthold tenancy; this might be a joint or an individual tenancy, in shared or self-contained accommodation
  •  living in an owned property, either outright or as shared ownership.
  •  In terms of support, tenants might:
  •  have all their support paid for
  •  have a mixture of paid-for support and informal or “natural” support from family, friends and/or community support
  •  not have any paid-for support, but some “natural” support
  •  have set up supported living from scratch, by planning for and getting your housing and support as they have designed it
  •  have moved into an existing service – some accommodation with support that had a vacancy.

Our tenants have security of tenure with the same rights and responsibilities as anyone who rents their own home.

With supported living options, subject to their fairer charging procedures, social services and health funding can pay for care and support that is needed. The welfare benefits system can help pay for housing and everyday living costs.

What is supported housing?

Supported housing exists to ensure those with support needs can lead a healthy and fulfilling life within their own home and community.

Supported housing services range widely, but they all play a crucial role in providing a safe and secure home with support for people to live independently. This includes:

  • providing the support older people need to maintain their independence
  • providing emergency refuge and support for victims of domestic violence, helping them to stabilise their lives and engage with other services
  • working with homeless people with complex and multiple needs to help them make the transition from life on the street to a settled home, education, training or employment
  • supporting people with mental health needs to stabilise their lives, recover and live more independently
  • supporting ex-servicemen and women to find a stable home, including support for those with mental health and physical disability needs
  • supporting people with learning disabilities in the longer term to maximise their independence and exercise choice and control over their lives.

Supported housing is often provided in partnership with a range of organisations and usually requires higher levels of funding.

Why does supported housing cost more?

Supported housing costs differ from general needs social housing because support and care services are provided in addition to housing management. This means that more staff are needed, and often adaptations to homes are required, which both increase costs.

However, the alternatives costs more. In 2010, it was estimated that supported housing delivers net annual savings to the public purse of around £640m across all client groups, or just under £1,000 per person per year.

Without supported housing, there would be a lack of appropriate support for people that are in need. This can result in huge costs to public services and, in some cases, create serious antisocial behaviour problems.

Appropriate housing and support is vital for helping people to move on from dependency to an independent, healthy life. It also connects people to services, work and training opportunities and social contacts.

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