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Accessible housing strategy
Skillnet Group, Kent UK
Thanks to Change for the pictures
Planning housing and support with people who have a learning disability
There are about 34,000 people with a learning disability in Kent. 26,000 of these people are adults.
Where do people with a learning disability live at the moment?
- 800 people in homes paid for by the National Health Service
- 1,200 people in supported housing places
- 1,100 people supported by Kent in residential homes
- 1,500 people in residential homes who have come from outside of Kent
The housing plan
Valuing People said that Learning Disability Partnership Boards should have local plans for learning disabled people by 2003.
This is to make sure that people have more choice and control over where and how they live.
Housing and Social Services have worked together on the Kent plan. They asked lots of people for their views. This includes:
- Learning disabled people
- Families and carers
- Health staff
- Voluntary organisations
The Plan is for three years and will be updated each year
There are 5 main ideas in the housing plan:
- Learning disabled people should have the same choices as everyone else about where and how they live
- There should be more supported housing available for learning disabled people
- Learning disabled people want the right support to make their own choices
- Information about housing and support that is easy to understand
- There should be better ways of finding out what housing and support people need and want
- We will ask more people what they think of the plan and keep asking
- Support for learning disabled people to live as independently as they can
- Support must be person centred - this means it is based on what each person needs
- Find out what support services there are now and what needs to be added or changed
- Make sure that services for learning disabled people are the best they can be and always getting better
- Make sure that people are comfortable and safe
- Keep checking that the plan is working
- All staff must understand the needs of learning disabled people
Partnerships - working together
The plan will work better if we all work together. That includes:
- People with learning disabilities
- Families and carers
- Different organisations like Housing, Health, Social Services and Voluntary Organisations
Money for housing and support can come from
- Housing benefit for rent and other things
- Supporting People Grant for housing support
- Independent Living Fund (ILF)
- Benefits like Income support and Disability Living Allowances
- Social services payment or Direct Payments (from your care manager)
What else does the plan say?
- Everyone is an individual and has different needs
- Learning disabled people want the same choices as everyone else
- Some people need adapted housing because they are physically disabled
- Some people want their own flat. Some want to live with their families, friends or partners
- We must make sure that housing and support are part of people's person centred plans
- We need to have better ways of finding out what housing and support people need.
- District Partnership Groups, Health and Social Services and Housing will tell us what local people need in each area
- All this means that learning disabled people will have real choices about where and how they live
About this article
The Skillnet Group has written this easy to read, accessible report about accessible housing. At the moment there is not enough supported housing available for people with learning disabilities. Skillnet believe that people with learning disabilities have a right to choose where they want to live and the support that they need.
This report outlines the needs and requirements of people with learning disabilities and uses Kent as an example. If you have any questions or would like more details please email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Skillnet website.
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