Starts at Home Day: A Housing LIN perspective

Hosted by the National Housing Federation, Starts at Home Day (opens new window) celebrates the value of care and support services and the difference that having a safe and secure place to call home can make to people’s lives. This year, Ian Copeman, the Housing LIN’s Business Director, shares his thoughts on the role of supported housing to help people to live as independently as possible and what experience the Housing LIN has supporting commissioners and operators of supported housing.

What is supported housing?

Supported housing is typically defined as a housing service where housing, support and/or care services are provided to help people to live as independently as possible.

Why does supporting housing provide an effective accommodation choice for working age adults with varying needs?

Within the supported housing sector in England there is enormous variation and diversity in the types of providers, scheme characteristics and 'models' of housing and support/care. It therefore provides homes for a wide range of people including people with a learning disability and autistic people, people with mental health related needs, vulnerable young people and people who have experienced homelessness.

Is there sufficient supply of supported housing?

There is no definitive national assessment of the demand for supported housing. The Supported Accommodation Review commissioned by UK Government in 2015/16 identified that there were c.130k units of supported housing for working age adults in Britain. Our evidence from working with many local authorities and providers of supported housing is that demand exceeds supply, both in absolute terms and in the need for modern, self-contained supported housing.

What can commissioners of housing with care and support be doing to improve the range of support housing options in their areas?

From our work with commissioners we know that many of them are taking a range of actions to improve their intelligence about the supply of and demand for supported housing in their areas and how they commission this type of accommodation. This includes undertaking demand assessments, engaging with their local partners including people with support needs, developing delivery plans or an 'investment prospectus' to let housing and support providers know what is required in their area, improving the quality and value for money of supported housing, and ensuing that planning policy is supportive of the development of different types of specialist and accessible homes.

Does the Housing LIN have any experience supporting commissioners and operators of supported housing?

We have extensive experience of working with local authority and NHS commissioners at a local level to improve the evidence base in relation to demand for housing and support services and supporting the development of practical delivery plans that create more homes for people with support needs. We work with providers of supported accommodation often to review their existing portfolio of supported accommodation, for example sheltered housing, and to advise on the types of contemporary supported accommodation that people are expecting. We also work with regional and national organisations such as the LGA, NHS England, the NHF and ADASS to support improvement and practice in the supported housing sector.

And we are also currently working with the Learning Disability and Autism Housing Network (LDAHN) to produce an accurate evidence base on the housing for people with a learning disability or autism in England.  If you are a provider of supported housing for rent for people with learning disabilities and/or autism, take part in our sector survey. The deadline for completion is Friday, 16th September 2022.

Ian Copeman, Business Director at Housing LIN, is responsible for the Network’s reach and consultancy business. If you would like to find out more about how the Housing LIN can provide you with bespoke support, please email us at: or look at our consultancy page.

And, if you found this blog of interest, please do have a look at our housing and housing support webpages. These pages provide essential information and examples of practice about how mainstream housing, specialist housing and personalised housing related care and support services can enable older people to live independently.

Lastly, to take part in our LDAHN survey by emailing,


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