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Pressures on housing
Tuesday 27 September 2011
Research says people with a learning disability may be forced to live with ageing parents
Many more adults with a learning disability may continue living with their parents into their adult lives, rather than being supported to live independently, according to new research published by Mencap today (Tuesday 27 September).
The interim findings from a report into the provision of housing for people with a learning disability found that while demand for services is rising, local authorities are increasingly struggling to meet this need.
The study, which was conducted by Cordis Bright Consulting, shows that 89% of local authorities agree there has been an increase in the number of people with a learning disability requiring housing support in the last three years.
While 82% of the local authorities surveyed agree there is a shortage of housing for adults with a learning disability, 94% agree with the view that more needs to be done to meet their housing needs.
The research comes as the government’s flagship Welfare Reform Bill, which outlines changes to housing benefit and social housing, makes its way through the House of Lords. All of the local authorities surveyed for the research agree that the biggest challenge at the moment is financial, leading to greater pressures on their housing services.
According to the report, the most common housing arrangements for adults with a learning disability are currently living with family and friends, in registered care homes and in supported accommodation.
Based on current accommodation trends and population growth, the research estimates that there will need to be 19,860 new registered care places and at least 14,222 extra supported accommodation places in England and Wales over the next 15 years.
“People with a learning disability have the right to lead their lives like anyone else,” said Dan Scorer, Mencap national campaigns manager. “This must include being able to live as independently as possible, close to friends and family and a support network.
“However, as this research shows the proposed government changes to housing benefit and supported housing are putting additional pressure on the ability of local authorities to find effective solutions to the housing needs of people with a learning disability as well as leaving people uncertain about their future. It is essential that they do not lose out in these reforms.”
Further findings will be issued next year.
Read the findings of the research
Find out more about Mencap's campaigns for better housing for people with a learning disability