City Futures Research Centre Arts, Design and Architecture

Supporting Tenancies of People with Complex Needs: Applying best practice in the Australian context

This project will provide response to people with complex needs, in particular those who have disabilities or mental illness which will sustain their tenancies. It aims to understand what factors can work toward the 「seamless」 delivery of housing and support to people with complex needs, focusing in particular on outcomes of secure housing and appropriate support for people with disabilities and people with a mental illness.

The notion of 「seamless」 delivery currently accepts a system-led understanding of two, separate service-based management and support delivery systems working cooperatatively together in order to deliver successful housing and support outcomes to clients who fit the criteria of having complex needs. As such, there tends to be a focus on creating best-practice models of both housing and the support provided within the housing to sustain both the tenancies of people with complex needs, and their broader wellbeing within the accommodation.

Because of this focus there is perhaps a more limited critique available than there might be of all the factors that can and do impact on the success or otherwise of tenancy and support arrangement. In particular whilst the views of clients with complex needs, are canvassed largely in the form of satisfaction surveys for consumers of service, the problem of devising strategies is framed largely from the point of view overcoming difficulties in either or both accommodation provision system of the service delivery system, and not from the point of the goals of broad human rights. The role of government departments, as policy makers is also not adequately scrutinised when evaluating the factors which determine the success of such arrangements. Likewise the technical mechanisms, by which governments enable new housing and support arrangements, need to be considered as part of a more thorough critique, which are more likely to guarantee success for future initiatives.

This research will endeavour to critique existing approaches to housing and support, utilising a broader critical framework that embraces the lived experience of the tenant and the means by which support the tenant. It will also consider the issue of home ownership and other opportunities available to people with complex needs to participate as members of society in a housing market, primarily to ensure that choice and preference based on optimum solutions to ongoing need are catered for, but also to provide greater opportunities to break the nexus between complex need, disability and poverty and to possible enable some level of self funding.



Michael Bleasdale, Disability studies and Research Institute

Collaborating partners

Disability studies and Research Institute Disability studies and Research Institute

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