Have your say on the draft mental health accommodation strategy in Bedford Borough

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In order to gain public opinion, Bedford Borough Council has launched a consultation on a Draft Mental Health Accommodation Strategy.

All local authorities with strategic housing responsibilities need to plan to meet the housing needs of local residents.

The Draft Mental Health Accommodation Strategy identifies the scale and range of needs to be addressed and sets out the council’s aims in meeting them.

The Housing Strategy 2012-2017 committed the council to preparing an accommodation strategy for vulnerable groups.

This new draft forms part of that overarching Care and Support Accommodation Strategy.

The document identifies a range of needs and the solutions will vary with some residents needing help/support to maintain independent living whereas others require more intensive care in a residential or care home setting.

Councillor Colleen Atkins said: “Housing support is an essential element in helping to look after and improve a person’s wellbeing.

“Having adequate supported housing is important in preventing people with mental illness being placed in residential care. 
“There is a need for a variety of supported accommodation to reflect the varied support needs of people with mental health issues. Together, we can plan ways to help support people that are most in need.”

The key aims of the draft Mental Health Accommodation Strategy are to:

- Work with partners to promote the development of the most suitable housing options to meet the range of needs identified in this strategy within the resources available, and to promote independent living where appropriate.

Reduce the identified gaps in:

- The number of self-contained flats with access to 24-hour staff support

- Access to accommodation with floating support

- Accommodation and support for those with complex needs

- Within available resources work with partners to support the continuous improvement of existing supported housing schemes and accommodation related support services.

The draft strategy is available to view now on the Consultations page of Bedford Borough Council’s website. Paper copies can be found at local libraries or the Borough Council’s Customer Contact Centre, in Horne Lane.

To comment members of the public can either:

- Complete the online form on the Council’s consultation page

- Email housing.strategy@bedford.gov.uk

- Write to – Consulting Bedford, Borough Hall, Cauldwell Street, Bedford, MK42 9AP.

The consultation period is open now until September 11.