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Housing helping people with health and support needs to live independently

Good quality housing plays a vital role in ensuring that people with support and care needs can live healthy, independent and happy lives, a report to Councillors says.

People who experience ill health, or have support and care needs due to mental health, homelessness, learning disability or age, often need specific accommodation and support to live independently in the community.  

The report to the Housing and Communities Committee sets out how Perth & Kinross Council is working with the local Health and Social Care Partnership and other partners to ensure that people with health or support needs have the right kind of housing.

An updated Housing Contribution Statement (HCS) has been developed in partnership with housing and health, and social care practitioners. The Statement, which supports the outcomes of the Perth and Kinross Strategic Commissioning Plan 2020-2025, aims to enable people to lead as independent, healthy, and active lives as possible in their own homes.

The Statement sets out how the Local Housing Strategy can support the delivery of suitable housing and support to enable people to live independently.

It also meets the aim of the Perth and Kinross Offer, providing partners with a platform for people and communities to work together to take the decisions that affect them locally.

The report to councillors says that over the last 12 months some notable successes have been achieved:

  • We exceeded our annual new build target of 550 new homes by delivering a total of 861. 215 households moved into new housing, designed to meet changing needs, including those with temporary or permanent physical disabilities.
  •  Working with our partners we ensured residents and tenants had access to services to adapt their homes to meet changing medical needs. 159 major adaptations were carried out on private homes. 95 major adaptations and 257 minor adaptations were undertaken on Council tenants' homes
  • During 2019/20 a new multi-agency Independent Living Panel was set up. The Panel reviews and authorises allocation of specialist housing provision for individuals with independent living needs.
  • An Accommodation Guide to Independent Living was developed to support people to understand the types of supported accommodation available and how they can be supported to live independently. 
  • A checklist of Independent Living Needs was also developed, outlining the accommodation standards and build features required for people with specific support requirements. This ensures accommodation will be built to meet people's individual needs. 
  • We have also carried out various refurbishment programmes within our Sheltered Housing services, responding to issues affecting older people such as dementia, social isolation, and loneliness. A focus on inclusive living ensures accommodation and support can be accessed and used by as many residents as possible.

Housing and Communities Committee Convener, Councillor Bob Brawn, said: "A good house to live in is one of the foundations of a healthy life, and housing plays a vital role in driving down health inequalities. High-quality, appropriate housing enables people with health or support needs to be empowered to live independent lives at home, which is what people have told us they want.

"As a result of our hard work over the last 12 months many people have been able to access housing of a type and in an area that is suitable for their current and future household needs. We are enabling them to live independently at home for longer, which has had a hugely positive impact on their health and wellbeing."

Vice Convener, Councillor Chris Ahern, added: "We already have a good range of adapted accommodation and support options for people when they need help. Our second Housing Contributions Statement supports the development of future supported accommodation for people who need help to live independently.

"The ageing population of Perth and Kinross along with increasing demands for complex adaptations to existing homes, and for specialist housing and support, means there will be challenges ahead. We have a plan that will ensure that our services and delivery models are in place to enable us to meet these challenges, so that everyone in Perth and Kinross can have the housing they need to live independent and healthy lives."

The Committee will consider the paper at a meeting on Monday 31st May.