what is supported housing?

‘Supported housing’ is a solution for vulnerable people to maintain their dignity and be part of a community.

It is a variety of schemes designed to provide both housing and support to help vulnerable people live as independently as possible in their community and maintain not only their tenancies, hence tackling and preventing societal issues such as homelessness, poverty, mental health breakdowns, and risk of abuse. These schemes are designed to meet the needs of particular client groups, such as people with mental health issues, learning or physical disabilities, addiction issues, victims and women at risk of domestic violence, teenage parents, ex-offenders, or older people.

What does it mean in practice?

Supported housing can be described as any housing scheme where housing, support and sometimes care services are provided as an integrated package. Some schemes are long-term designed for people who need support to live independently, other are short-term, designed to help people acquire the emotional and practical skills needed to move on into more mainstream housing.

The support given to tenants depends on their needs. It can include for instance:

  • access to treatment services for alcohol, drug or health problems
  • help with getting benefits
  • developing independent living skills, such as how to cope in a crisis
  • developing budgeting skills
  • encouragement to reconnect with family and friends, or develop new social networks
  • assistance in taking up education, training and employment opportunities

The following aims encapsulate the purpose of supported housing:

  • The support enables service users to live as independently as possible in the community
  • Service users are empowered to be socially included.
  • Support varies and relates to the nature of accommodation
  • It is a finite and increasingly limited resource only available to those who are vulnerable

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