Brighton Housing Trust (BHT) is highlighting the contribution supported housing makes to Brighton and Hove as part of today’s Starts at Home day.
Starts at Home, now in its second year and run by the National Housing Federation, celebrates how supported housing helps hundreds of thousands of vulnerable people regain their independence and confidence.
Housing associations provide a wide range of vital supported housing services including sheltered accommodation, refuges for domestic violence victims, homelessness shelters and housing for those with disabilities.
BHT’s support comes as uncertainty surrounds the future funding of supported housing. The National Housing Federation and its members are campaigning to persuade the Government to commit to ensuring that every person who needs extra support has a home that meets their needs.
BHT chief executive, Andy Winter, has challenged the government on its approach to supported housing, asking whether it is recklessness, incompetence or deliberate design by government that is undermining the future of specialist supported housing.
Writing on his blog Andy Winter writes: “What motivates someone to take a successful government-funded project that prevents homelessness, reduces hospital admissions, reduces crime and makes a return of more than £4 for every £1 invested, and in its place create a crisis that is seeing services close and 85% of new schemes being abandoned? This is what is happening with specialist supported housing.”
David Orr, Chief Executive at the National Housing Federation said: “Supported housing helps people to live independently and achieve their aspirations in a safe and secure home. It is a critical time for supported housing; we must highlight how vital a lifeline it is to so many vulnerable people and show Government why supported housing should be put on a secure and sustainable footing for the future.”
An example of the work of one of BHT’s specialist supported housing services
The following is an account of a resident of BHT’s Archway Project in Hove:
Mike moved into BHT’s Archway Project from hospital where he had had been staying for 4 months as a voluntary patient following a deterioration in his mental and physical health. Whilst at Archway he had support to increase his level of responsibility with self-medicating and became entirely independent in this area as well as with monitoring and managing his physical health.
Mike said: “My time at the Archway Project was a good opportunity for rehabilitation in terms of my mental and physical health, as well as regaining confidence with daily living skills. The environment provided me with a level of support and monitoring, whilst offering space to be independent.”
Mike was supported with communicating with his housing provider to maintain his tenancy and to co-ordinate a professionals meeting to discuss options for returning to his home and avoiding homelessness. The housing provider was satisfied with Mike’s level of recovery and the additional support that was now in place to maximise his well-being in the community. This allowed for Mike to return to his home.