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H&SA launch new initiative - Investing in Ordinary Lives

In the UK, most people with learning disabilities live with their families or in residential care. Many people continue to live in the family home into adulthood because they have few other choices, and a care home is not an option most people want. In response to this the Housing and Support Alliance (H&SA), the Cameron Trust and the Centre for Welfare Reform today launch Investing in Ordinary Lives: innovations in housing for people with learning disabilities, an initiative to increase the supply of housing for people with learning disabilities by drawing on alternative sources of funding.

Alicia Wood, Chief Executive of the H&SA says:

“We think people with learning disabilities should have more control over where they live and how they are supported. Traditionally local authorities, housing associations and charities have provided most housing for people with learning disabilities. Investing in Ordinary Lives recognises that both the range and type of housing needs to be significantly increased and proposes that privately provided and funded housing is a way of achieving this.”

Duncan Cameron, co-founder of moneysupermarket.com and founder of the Cameron Trust, says:

“It’s all quite straightforward. There are people with learning disabilities who need to rent houses and there are investors and organisations who have the money to buy houses and rent to people. We want to find a way to match the right landlords and funders with the right people and organisations to increase housing options for people with learning disabilities.”

Investing in Ordinary Lives launches with four briefing papers:

• How can wealthy individuals invest in housing for people with learning disabilities?
• Investing in housing for people with learning disabilities through Corporate Social Responsibility.
• How can small landlords invest in housing for people with learning disabilities?
• How corporate investors and lenders can invest in housing for people with learning disabilities?

The H&SA and Cameron Trust will then work together to encourage investment and broker the partnerships needed to create more housing. Over the coming months the two organisations will:

• Promote Investing in Ordinary Lives nationally to investors and organisations.
• Work with H&SA members to match people with learning disabilities who need housing to landlords.
• Through the Cameron Trust, develop a web based facility to match landlords to people with disabilities that will include tools for investors to make choices about the best avenues for investment and tools for people needing housing to make informed choices.

Wood continues:

“With the reduction in funding for social housing and welfare benefit changes, housing options are becoming ever more restricted. Historically, the majority of private sector investment in accommodation for people with learning disabilities has been in residential care rather than in residential property to rent. Investing in Ordinary Lives sets out the options for private and corporate investors to invest in ethical and sustainable housing for people with learning disabilities.”

Cameron concludes:

“People with learning disabilities are usually great, long term tenants and can give investors decent long term returns on their investments. Our focus is on keeping overheads and rents as low as possible and making sure that we help people to get the housing that is right for them.”

Investing in Ordinary Lives briefing papers are available here:

http://www.centreforwelfarereform.org/library/by-date/investing-in-ordinary-lives.html

For further information, contact:
Alicia Wood 07981 943198
alicia.wood@housingandsupport.org.uk

http://www.housingandsupport.org.uk/home

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Notes for editors

1. The Housing and Support Alliance is a national charity and membership organisation that promotes person centred approaches to housing and support for people with learning disabilities.

2. The Cameron Trust is a charity that brings together property investors, charitable trusts and philanthropists to invest in ethical and sustainable housing models for people with learning disabilities.

3. The Centre for Welfare Reform works to redesign the welfare state in order to increase social justice, promote citizenship, strengthen families and enrich our communities.

4. Duncan Cameron is available for interview 1-2pm June 4.

5. Mencap research shows that to meet demand from the growing number of people with learning disabilities needing a place to live, there would have to be an additional 2,265 places created every year until 2026 (Housing for People with a Learning Disability. Mencap 2012).

ENDS