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UEPC attended the PUSH workshop on practice and understanding in supported housing

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UEPC attended the PUSH workshop on practice and understanding in supported housing

The workshop’s main aim was to give an insight into the various national approaches as regards supported housing for vulnerable people and to identify good practices. All participants agreed with the premise that de-institutionalization and personalization were crucial principles in the process of allowing vulnerable people to live independently.

Particular attention was then paid to the presentation by the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations on the housing models they provide for people with physical or mental disabilities, who have drug problems or suffer from social exclusion. With the crisis, these models of personalized service have become difficult to fund since grants have been reduced.

In Amsterdam, the “Housing First” project has been set up by Alliantie Amsterdam so as to provide 250 housing units to vulnerable people within the city. The aim of the project is to help these people to live independently with the possibility of support when needed. The project also turned out to be very beneficial in terms of costs: 19,000 EUR per year per person whereas a “24 hour service” in (para-) medical care would cost almost 40,000 EUR per year.

In terms of the good practice models, the architects’ representative mentioned that homes for disabled and vulnerable people should be designed in cooperation with these people in order to avoid the ‘clinical’ atmosphere. The Ghent project coordinator raised the issue of the transferability of projects: how can a successful project be exported to another city, taking into account the different (regulatory) context? Apart from the questions of sustainability, the lack of financial support and leadership, the CECODHAS Housing Europe’s delegation also mentioned the need to combat housing exclusion and what instruments were needed to do so.