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Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Successful bidders announced for £25 million learning disability housing fund

Written by The Editorial Team

People with learning disabilities across the country are set to benefit from £25 million of funding to help them live more independently in their own homes.

Health Minister David Mowat (pictured) has announced the successful bidders to a £25 million government fund. The projects will focus on adapting existing housing, creating new accommodation and giving people support so they have more independence and choice.

Only 15% of adults with learning disabilities in England have a secure long-term tenancy or their own home.

The Department of Health aims to address this by supporting projects including shared ownership schemes, adapting existing properties with new technology and even building new technologically adapted homes.

The £25 million fund aims to improve the quality of life of people with learning disabilities – giving them independence, and helping them feel more included in their local community.

Minister for Community Health and Care David Mowat said: “I want to offer my sincere congratulations to the successful projects. We had a fantastic response to our call for bids and I’m delighted that the innovative ideas put forward will now become a reality. I want to thank the bidders for their dedication to improving the lives of people with learning disabilities in their community and wish them all the best in bringing this important project to life.”

The allocation of the funding to 52 projects across England is an important step towards achieving the government’s vision of a future in which there are safe, reliable and innovative alternatives to inpatient care for people with learning disabilities.

The chief executive for Learning Disability England, Alicia Wood, also welcomed the fund, saying how it represented much needed support for people with learning disabilities.

She said: “What has been even more welcome is that it has provided the stimulation needed to create person-centred approaches to housing that give people with learning disabilities real control over their lives.

“There were many exceptional bids to the fund and we congratulate those who were successful. We very much look forward to seeing what happens as a result of this fund and how that translates into better lives for people with learning disabilities.”

The key aims of the fund were to:

  • Prevent unnecessary in-patient admissions. The fund will provide solutions for people who require urgent housing and are at risk of entering inappropriate services like hospital or residential care;
  • Encourage a move towards community-based solutions which promote independence and choice over housing;
  • Make use of new technologies and other bespoke adaptations to improve and adapt existing accommodation, enabling people to remain living independently; and
  • Deliver efficiencies – providing specially adapted housing means there is less of a requirement for costly hands-on care. 

The successful areas are as follows:

All have been awarded funding for 1 project, unless otherwise specified:

  • Essex - 5 projects
  • Thurrock
  • Herefordshire Council
  • Dudley MBC 
  • Lincolnshire County Council
  • North Lincolnshire Council
  • North East Lincolnshire Council
  • Shropshire
  • Borough of Telford & Wrekin
  • Northamptonshire County Council
  • City of Wolverhampton
  • Staffordshire County Council
  • Nottinghamshire
  • Isle of Wight
  • Bournemouth
  • Bristol
  • Kent County Council - 2 projects
  • North Somerset Council
  • Bath & North East Somerset
  • Slough Borough Council - 3 projects
  • Somerset County Council
  • Surrey County Council
  • Swindon Borough Council
  • Gloucestershire County Council - 3 projects
  • Cornwall
  • Dorset County Council
  • Enfield
  • North Central & Camden
  • Blackpool
  • Durham
  • Northumberland
  • Newcastle
  • Stockton
  • Sunderland
  • Salford
  • Sheffield
  • Wakefield
  • Cheshire West
  • Halton
  • North Tyneside
  • Wigan
  • Hull