Person at door

Why supported housing is important every day

By Steph Wood, Head of Supported Housing

On today’s Starts at Home Day, we’re joining housing associations around the country to celebrate supported housing and the positive impact it makes on thousands of lives.

According to Homeless Link, at any one time, over 600,000 people in England rely on supported housing to provide a safe place to call home with appropriate care and support to meet their needs.

So how does our supported housing service make a difference to our residents?

For most people, ‘supported housing’ is a term that is used a lot but doesn’t really mean anything. It’s a broad term which is applied to a wide range of housing with support services but they all share the same purpose of enabling people to live as independently as possible within their community.

Supported housing services provide both emotional and practical support for customers.  This can include support with health needs, including mental health, drug and alcohol use, managing benefits and debt, developing daily living skills and accessing education, training and employment.

Supported housing customers have diverse and often complex needs, requiring different levels of support.

For us this includes those who are homeless, people living with mental ill-health, learning disabilities, people who have spent their childhood in care, are fleeing domestic abuse, or those who are older and in need of care.

We’re always looking at ways to increase the impact of our service – this includes working in partnership with Local Authorities and investing in programmes like Housing First.

We’ve adopted a trauma-informed approach, which means we’re working with people in a way that not only understands their unique journey and the impact it’s had, but works to identify their positive skills and attributes, rather than ‘risks’. We harness these to help them re-set their course in the direction that is important to them.

We call this ‘advantage thinking’ and it’s a powerful tool that we think is really successful.

Some of our highlights from the last year:

  • 253 of our customers had positive move-ons, meaning they left us in a stronger position than when they joined us. 
  • In February, we launched, in partnership with BDBC and YouTrust, a new kind of domestic abuse service that can work with those at risk of exploitation, as well as those who may have experienced domestic abuse.
  • We achieved the Foyer Federation Accreditation For Youth.
  • We also used our expertise to speak at conferences, including Homes for Cathy, Nat Fed and CIH, and contributed to major research on Housing First.

I am proud to work for a housing association which values and sees supported housing as a core part of its business. 

Not only do we play a crucial role in providing a safe and secure home for people that enables them to live independently, but our services also tackle social exclusion, promote sustainable communities and empower people to achieve their potential.