The Department of Health (DH) has announced an investment of £25m over the next two financial years (£10m in 2016/17 and £15m in 2017/18) in technology and housing for people with learning disabilities.
Half of the population of adults with learning disabilities in England live with their families; most of the remainder (33%) live in residential care. Only 15% of adults with learning disabilities have a secure long-term tenancy or their own home.
Having a home guarantees a place in the community, and is part of how people are accepted as equal citizens. People with learning disabilities are one of the most socially excluded groups in our society with limited life chances. Investment in technology and housing to support independent living will provide the opportunity to make of reality of extending rights for people with learning disabilities.
The availability of appropriate housing is integral to the Transforming Care programme which aims to move people out of inpatient care into the community. The additional DH funding announced is intended to have a broader focus aimed at those receiving support for their learning disability and is not restricted to those who are currently inpatients.
The DH is not looking to identify a single ‘winning’ approach. DH expects innovation and impetus to come from local authorities, working closely with people with learning disabilities and family carers. Those areas interested in expanding their supported housing stock should note today’s announcement that it will remain exempt from the Local Housing Allowance cap until April 2019, from which point a new ‘local top-up’ model will be introduced. For more information on this specific point, click here.
The DH will apparently be looking for proposals that increase the capacity to deliver assistive technology and housing arrangements that provide innovative, person centred and flexible approaches to supporting independent living and maximising individual rights.
This capital funding will be deployed to enable local authorities to lead the way in bringing about a real change in how assistive technology and housing for people with learning disabilities can improve quality of life and outcomes for individuals and their families.
We would like information about the availability of the fund to be disseminated as widely as possible. We would be grateful if you could circulate this information to your networks and contacts.
For further information and the application form please go here.
The closing date for applications is 28 October 2016. Any queries should be sent to: H&TC-Fund@dh.gsi.gov.uk.