A toolkit designed to improve housing rights and security of tenure for people with learning disabilities has been launched.

The Feeling Settled Toolkit, developed by the National Development Team for Inclusion, in partnership with service providers Choice Support and Golden Lane Housing (GLH), builds on Feeling Settled: a guide for those involved in changing a service from a Residential Care Home to Supported Living where people stay in the same place, which was published in 2011. 

The toolkit offers guidance for supporting people with learning disabilities living in registered care homes, who would like to have greater security of tenure, more choice and control over their funding but at the same time are settled and would prefer not to move.

It provides managers, planners, people and families with examples of good practice and resources for each step of the person-centred Individual Pathway proposed in the original report.  

The Individual Pathway is at the core of the toolkit, emphasising that although there are many challenges in effecting change, it is essential that the person stays at the heart of the process throughout.

Housing rights for people with learning disabilities

Rob Greig, chief executive of the NDTi, said: “Helping disabled and older people gain greater housing rights and security of tenure is something that people say they want, and that policy encourages. However, some people want to achieve those things without having to move from their current housing or change the staff who support them. The Feeling Settled Toolkit helps both commissioners and providers to do this. It emphasise how this is more than just a legal or bureaucratic change, but is fundamentally about using person centred approaches to listen to the person and ensure they end up with choice and control over the housing and support they want and need.”

John Verge, GLH’s regional business manager (South), said: “We know that many people live in accommodation where the model of care and support has become out-dated but the accommodation itself is suitable for continued independence in their communities. The Feeling Settled Toolkit offers a person-centred approach to support and guide providers and commissioners to move to a supported living model using existing housing provision.

“From our experience at Golden Lane Housing we know how crucial it is to ensure that the right legal frameworks and arrangements are put in place to support these changes and we are pleased to be able to support the development of this toolkit.”

Sarah Maguire, director of quality at Choice Support, added: “The stories published in the Feeling Settled Project provide further evidence that people’s lives improve following deregistration and a move to supported living. We have to acknowledge that older models of support sometimes hold people back, but if we have the courage to change how we do things we can see real positive change in people’s lives. Not only that, these new models of service are not more expensive, and often cheaper than the ones they replace – that’s welcome news in these difficult times.”

The Feeling Settled Toolkit can be downloaded free of charge from the NDTi website:
www.ndti.org.uk/uploads/files/Feeling_Settled_Toolkit_April_2013.pdf