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Cabinet considers housing boost for people with disabilities

26 February 2021

One hundred and eighty-one supported housing units are set to be developed in Norfolk, to help people with disabilities live more independent lives.

The County Council is proposing to invest £9m-£18m of capital to develop supported, adapted and specialist housing over the next 10 years, to improve people’s lives, reduce hospital admissions and reduce care costs by £1.9m per year.

Councillor Bill Borrett, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health, said: “We want to help people live more fulfilled, independent lives.”

“I am really pleased that the Council is investing all this money, developing more supported housing will help people with disabilities to be more independent in their own homes and see fewer people go into residential care.”

The Council is proposing the investment as the current care market is not developing this kind of housing, without support.

The types of housing required are:

  • Housing for those with complex needs. Suitable housing will be bespoke and built to a very high specification to meet those needs.
  • Short term accommodation for those who may need support to adjust to independent living. This may include young people with care and support needs who require a training or enablement environment in order to prepare to live more independently.
  • Long term supported accommodation for those who may require dedicated, supported or adapted accommodation, with long term support, in order to live as independently as possible in the long term

Cabinet will discuss the report when it meets at 10am on Monday, 8 March. Read the reports and view the meeting live – or a recording afterwards.

Why it is needed

The report says the “aspirations for the programme reflect what people have told us about where and how they would like to live. Development of different types of accommodation and models of support helps people to make good choices about where and how they live”

“Accessible and adapted housing enables people to live more independently, while also reducing health and social costs in the future. It is better to build accessible housing from the outset rather than having to make adaptations at a later stage – both in terms of cost and to support people to remain safe and independent in their homes.”

How Norfolk compares to other areas

The report says: “To reach the national average use of residential care, Norfolk would need to reduce the 941 residential placements used by people of working age with learning disabilities, mental health problems and physical disabilities by over 250. To move in this direction means there is a need for alternative types of service, including long term supported living and supported living services that provide short term intensive support to prepare individuals to move from residential care to their own independent accommodation.

“When compared with other local authorities, Norfolk makes very high use of residential care for people with learning disabilities, mental health problems and physical disabilities.”

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