Supported living explained
Supported living enables people with learning disabilities to live in their own homes, with flexible, individualised support – wherever that might be. Supported living gives people more choice, control, rights and independence, and this should be the primary motivation for this housing model. Zetetick Housing has helped many individuals, including those with the most complex needs, to be successfully supported in their own homes using detailed ‘person centred planning’, that is, placing the person’s own preferences, values and needs at the forefront. The level of support offered by the supported living model can therefore be very different for each individual – ranging from a couple of hours support a week to full-time, live in support.
The separation of housing and support is a key feature in supported living. In particular, the separation between housing and support makes it possible to change one without having to change the other – a key and fundamental position of good practice for Commissioners of Supported Living services. This in turn could make it much easier for tenants to:
• change services that are not working as they should or
• to simply give tenants the option of choice in determining for themselves how and who will support their housing or care services in future without necessarily having to change both
The separation of housing and support
The separation of housing and support also makes additional sources of funding available and has opened up access to a much wider range of housing options for people with a learning disability. In addition to traditional housing providers or residential care, access to the private rented sector, as uniquely offered by Zetetick Housing, is available. The private rental market offers a quick and flexible solution to housing for people who need an ordinary housing environment, and for people with learning disabilities this option can be a straightforward solution to getting housing. It can also work well for those who want to try out independence or living with other people without making long term commitments. Zetetick Housing carries out and manages all repairs, maintenance and utilities in our properties, so tenants do not have to deal with these issues.
Tenants in supported living have their own home and tenancy, have the right to choose who they live with, and the right to welfare benefits. The cost of such housing and support arrangements can be lower than the cost of residential care, and this in addition to the flexibility offered by the supported living model makes it more and more attractive to commissioners of services.