Change that leads to better lives

Insights 27 - Housing Choices for People with Support Needs

The National Development Team for Inclusion (NDTi) believe that people should have choice and control over where they live and the support that they receive. Although there are a lot of different housing options for older people, people with learning disabilities and people with mental health problems, we know that a lot of people are living in traditional forms of housing and support such as residential or nursing care.

Part of the reason for this is a belief that they are cheaper than other options. To get people talking and thinking about all of the different alternatives, NDTi have looked at the costs and characteristics of different housing and support options. This Insight summarises this work.

Who should read this?

Commissioners and providers of housing and support (in all its forms), people who use services and their families (and representative organisations), academics and policy makers.


Although current health and social care policy and legislation emphasises person-centred approaches and use of community based options and discourages residential settings which are segregated from family and communities, this does not appear to be having a significant impact on current patterns. It appears that we are currently seeing a shift away from options that offer choice and control, towards more traditional residential care – with these developments being implemented on the rationale that residential care is lower cost.

Purpose of Work

To stimulate debate about the continued over reliance and possible increase in use of residential care, and to encourage more serious exploration and consideration of alternative housing and support options.

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