Following the publication of the National Strategy for Disabled People 2022-2027, an implementation plan of some 107 actions has now been published.
The overall aim of the National Housing Strategy for Disabled People 2022 – 2027 aims ‘to facilitate disabled people to live independently with the appropriate choices and control over where, how and with whom they live, promoting their inclusion in the community’.
Developed as part of Housing for All, the strategy and subsequent implementation plan are to be delivered by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, the Department of Health, and the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth.
The implementation plan contains 27 outcomes with 107 actions. A number of these actions contain multiple interim actions, with 25 actions underway and ongoing, and a number now complete.
The context of the implementation plan is action needed under the six themes of the National Housing Strategy for Disabled People 2022-2027, which are:
As well as detailing the actions that will be required to deliver on the outcomes and assigning those actions to identified stakeholders, the implementation plan also sets out indicative timeframes as well as key performance indicators for each of the actions.
Notable progressions to date include the publication of housing delivery action plans by local authorities in 2022, the plans were mandated to set out how dedicated social housing provision appropriate to the needs of disabled people will be delivered matching the scale and extent of housing need identified for people with a disability. Additionally, all local authorities now have a disability-friendly housing technical advisor, who provides specialist advice to the authority itself and to interested parties who want to get involved in providing disability-friendly housing.
Following the strategy’s publication, a national implementation steering group, housing and disability steering groups, national thematical focus groups, regional interagency groups, and bi-monthly meetings of the dedicated disability personnel in local authorities have all been established. Housing and disability steering groups currently report quarterly on the implementation of their local strategic housing plans for disabled people to the Chief Executive and the Strategic Policy Committee.
Other additional actions which have been commenced include a national Mental Health Tenancy Sustainment Officer (TSO) Service, delivered through the AHB sector and an information and communications strategy delivered by the Housing Agency.
A formal review of the implementation plan has been scheduled to mid-2024 for completion by Q4 2024.
This review will ensure that the outcomes and actions from this plan are still relevant. The review will also set out the actions for the remaining term of the Strategy and develop new outcomes, if required. The Housing Agency will lead on this review and will present a draft to the tri-department group by the end of Q3 2024.