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HELP FOR INTEGRATED HOUSING AND COMMUNITY CARE STRATEGIES

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Health, housing, and social workers could work together better by using an innovative approach to community care ca...
Health, housing, and social workers could work together better by using an innovative approach to community care called 'housing pathways' according to a study written for the Chartered Institute of Housing and National Federation of Housing Associations.

The publication draws on the experience of authorities that have piloted the programme, which is designed to offer a systematic approach to investigating the housing need of specific care groups.

Research was carried out in six areas:

Greenwich LBC: research on housing provision for 596 people with learning disabilities revealed a lack of self-contained supported housing and shared housing with less than 24 hour staff support, limited access to tenancies with appropriate care packages, and a need for accommodation for older people with learning disabilities.

Basingstoke and Deane DC: a study of 1,240 people with a mental health problem demonstrated a need for self-contained supported housing, and an unmet demand for resettlement services and longer-term support for people living in their own home.

Halton DC: 221 single homeless people with support needs faced a narrow range of specialist accommodation (such as family placements, hostels and refuges) and a need for 256 extra places was calculated.

Islwyn DC: data on 3,188 older people- with support needs show higher numbers moving from households that is indicated by the number who actually want to move.

Mansfield DC: the model for Mansfield shows no supported housing for people with a physical disability despite the fact that there are 3,394 in the district with a physical disability or suffering from ill health.

CIH principal policy officer Sarah Edwards said: 'Local housing authorities have a duty to undertake a comprehensive assessment of housing needs to underpin their local housing strategies.

'The pathway methodology provides an excellent model for the assessment of community care needs which can enable housing authorities to work jointly with housing and social services to produce a fully integrated housing and community care strategy.'

-- Housing Need and Community Care, by Lynn Watson, is available priced £10 from CIH publications, Octavia House, Westwood Way, Coventry CV4 8JP, Tel. 01203 694433.

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