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Journal article

Moving into new housing designed for people with disability: preliminary evaluation of outcomes

Supported accommodation Housing for people with disability Australia

People with disability (neurological disorder or cerebral palsy) and complex needs (n = 15, aged 18–65 years) completed quantitative self-report measures over two time-points (pre-move and 6–24 months post-move). Pre-move living arrangements included group homes, residential aged care, private rentals, and living with parents. Post-move living arrangements were individualised apartments built for people with disability. Health, wellbeing, community integration, and support needs were compared across pre- and post-move timepoints.

Paired sample t-tests showed significant improvements consistent with large effects in wellbeing (p = 0.031, Eta2=0.29) and community integration (p = 0.008, Eta2=0.41), particularly home integration, and a trend towards improved health (p = 0.077, Eta2=0.21). A Wilcoxon signed rank test demonstrated a trend towards reduced support needs (z= −1.941, p = 0.052) consistent with a medium effect (r = 0.35) and an average decrease of 2.4 support hours per participant per day.

Well-located housing with appropriate design, technology and support provision makes a positive contribution to wellbeing, community integration, and health for people with complex disability.

Key findings:

  • People with disability who move into individualised apartments experience significant positive change in health, wellbeing, and participation.

  • Findings highlight the benefits of housing that foster independence and enable personal choice and control.

  • Evidence suggests that investment in appropriately designed and well-located housing has positive outcomes for people with disability.

  • Evidence collected within this outcome framework has the potential to ensure models of housing and support that are responsive to the diverse and changing needs of people with disability.

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