All of us have received support with our housing…..yes, every one of us! We may not have known it at the time or appreciated it, and it’s likely it wasn’t labelled as such, but we all had to learn the skills to live independently – and it started at home.
Most of us had family and friends who helped set us up to succeed as we first started out on our own. This may have been through learning to cook meals, manage a budget, navigate the supermarket, getting your head around Council Tax and the gas bill and trying to scrabble together furniture etc.
For some, this may have been in the lead up to heading off to University or in your first house share or new relationship.
We all needed help didn’t we?
For people who don’t have that family support for whatever reason, or may have experienced a challenging life event, or domestic abuse, bereavement or homelessness, or living with a disability; the element of support in supported housing is vital.
We want to set people up to succeed and not fail.
Today is the second year of the Starts at Home Campaign spearheaded by the National Housing Federation. The aim is to highlight, celebrate and protect supported housing to ensure that people who need extra support will always have a safe home that meets their needs. This is achieved through a diverse range of supported housing services which provide secure homes and vital services to a range of people in communities across the country.
A lot of housing associations, especially the larger groups, deliver much needed supported housing as a bolt on to their general needs housing stock.
Here at CHADD, supported housing is the very core of who we are and what we do.
Our passion throughout our 38-year history is to provide homes with support to people in Dudley. Currently, this includes the Women’s Refuge service, our Foyer service for young people, sheltered housing for older people and supported living for people living with a mental health condition or learning disability.
These are services that are increasingly in demand as other preventative services diminish and pressures on public funding continue to bite.
700 people receive our help and support each year. We provide over 11,000 nights of safety in our Women’s Refuge alone in addition to our other supported housing.
We wholeheartedly support the National Housing Federation’s proposal to the Government on the future funding of supported housing, and the LHA cap, as set out here:
The provision of a safety net for those in crisis or transition is essential but more than that, supported housing provides a springboard towards a better future.
It is fantastic to see a focus on aspiration in this years Starts at Home Day.
Sometimes these national campaign days can be a bit ‘noisy’ with lots of comms activity, and a lot of broadcasting but not much listening or engaging.
In the midst of all of that, there is a critical message – and a conversation – that we need to take to a wider audience who can support and advocate for supported housing.
Because without it, many people will be without the safety net of a supported home and without that springboard enabling them to achieve their aspirations.
It’s pretty hard to get on in life without a safe stable secure home, isn’t it?
Anna Gillespie – Chief Executive at CHADD