Authors: Craig Wilson - Northern Rivers Fellowship Inc
Event: 1994 TheMHS Conference
Subject: book of proceedings
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: Community housing provided the vehicle for empowered community response to mental disability on NSW North Coast under highly adverse funding and demographic conditions. Local community agencies (NGOs) manage special-purpose housing stock with Health funding for visiting support staff. The opportunity to deliver fundamental services has catalysed a robust NGO movement. Principles of community housing include affordable rent, secure tenure, opportunity to remedy, quiet enjoyment, and tenant participation in management. Clinical benefits follow in self-paced recovery, in vivo skills acquisition, and flexible supports. Successful design factors include walking proximity to services and small households. Services reach disadvantaged clients and produce positive housing outcomes. Community-managed supervised hostels and a refuge for homeless mentally ill add infrastructure for a cost-effective, integrated network meeting the full range of needs from short to long term and from close to minimal support. Community housing delivers customer ownership, true mainstreaming, and the centrepiece for a comprehensive support system.