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Housing (Disabled People)

Volume 229: debated on Thursday 22 July 1993

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what instruction will be issued by his Department to local authorities to meet the housing needs of disabled people in their arrangements for community care.

My Department and the Department of Health jointly issued guidance to English local authorities about their role under the community care arrangements in circular 10/92, "Housing and Community Care", on 24 September 1992. A copy of the circular is in the Library of the House.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what action has been undertaken to date by his Department resulting from the Ernst and Young research report into the housing needs of disabled people; and if he will make a statement.

The study of the housing needs of elderly and disabled people commissioned by the Department from Ernst and Young management consultants has now been completed and a series of reports on discrete elements of the project are being prepared. The intention is to publish a summary report later this year and provide the individual reports on request. It is also proposed to produce guidance to local housing authorities on methods for assessing the housing needs of elderly people and the comparative costs of different housing and housing with care options to meet their needs.My Department will also be publishing the findings from a separate but related study, to which Ernst and Young contributed, on the role of housing agency service in enabling disabled people to remain in the community or transfer out of institutions. It is planned to publish this report next month.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what additional resources have been made available to local authorities towards meeting the housing needs of disabled people resulting from the implementation of community care.

Community care in itself creates no new category of entitlement to housing and housing needs which are identified by community care planning and individual assessments should be considered alongside existing processess and local priorities. The resources available to authorities should allow the proper discharge of their responsibilities to all sections of the community.