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“I lived in a house in a rural village, I have osteoarthritis and depression. Living in a house was a big struggle for me, plus living in a rural village I could not get out very often. It had a huge impact on my mental health. With support I finally moved to a lovely village that has a bus service and I live in a lovely bungalow. My mental health has improved beyond words, and I feel much happier and no longer isolated.” Carol
Be ambitious and look a long way ahead when you come to set your goals for Accommodation. Also make sure any of your unmet needs in this area are identified. For many people the main long-term outcome will be to live in your own suitable home in the community of your choice. This may involve staying where you are if you are comfortable or finding a better place to live if your accommodation has a negative impact on your mental health.
- 1. What do you want to achieve?
There are a number of accommodation options. You can choose to manage your own accommodation without support, get support to live in your own home, live in supported accommodation, live in shared accommodation or live with family / friends. You may also choose to buy a place on your own or with family/friends, or to rent from a private landlord, your local Council, a Housing Association or other Registered Social Landlord, or a housing charity. If you are in hospital long-term then an outcome may be to stay in a suitable ward with the maximum amount of comfort, safety and independence.
Another goal may be to maintain, repair or improve your home ensuring that your accommodation is warm, weatherproof, equipped with modern facilities, in a good state of repair, safe and secure. Are you close enough to family, friends, green spaces or the services you use? You may also want to ensure that your accommodation meets your physical requirements (e.g. if you have poor mobility or eyesight). Finally, your outcome may be to deal with financial issues such as managing mortgage payments or rent.
2. What actions need to be taken or services need to be provided to achieve your goals?
Next think about the actions that need to be taken to achieve your goals, and what services need to be provided to support you.
Services could include
● Supported accommodation service
● Debt advice service
● Home repair services
● Information service
● Advocacy service.
Actions could include:
● Finding out about all the available housing options
● Registering with the housing office at your local Council or with your local Housing Association
● Looking for accommodation in local newspapers, estate agents and on the internet
● Arranging how you are going to pay for your accommodation, e.g. housing benefit mortgage
● Getting support to manage your mortgage/rent payments
● Getting debt advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau
● Finding out what supported housing is available locally, particularly if you are coming out of hospital (
housing options should be discussed at discharge meetings
● Finding trades people to make necessary repairs to your home and getting quotes
● Making arrangements for your home to be looked after if you are in hospital.
3. Who can support you to achieve your goals?
Your local Council has a legal duty to advise you on housing if you are unable to find your own accommodation and a duty to get you housing if you are vulnerable. Other people who can support you include:
● Housing associations
● Housing charities
● Hospital manager
● Shelter Cymru
● Citizens Advice Bureau
● Care and Repair Cymru
● Independent mental health advocate
● A family member and/or other carer
● Care Coordinator
More resources and links on Accommodation
● For links to the 22 Local Authorities (who have the lead responsibility for housing and homelessness in Wales) go to http://gov.wales/topics/localgovernment/unitary-authorities/?lang=en
● For a list of Housing Associations in Wales go to http://gov.wales/topics/housing-and-regeneration/publications/registered-social-landlords-in-wales/?lang=en
● Shelter Cymru is at http://www.sheltercymru.org.uk
● For advice on a wide range of housing issues including housing benefits go to https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/wales/housing/
● Rethink’s information on housing specifically for people with a mental illness http://www.rethink.org/living-with-mental-illness/housing/housing-options
● Mind’s information on housing specifically for people with a mental illness http://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/guides-to-support-and-services/housing/#.VieOs_mrSUk