Housing Initiatives was set up as a voluntary not for profit company in July 2001, with the aim of providing tenancies to people with learning disabilities, to enable them to become established in the community, in their own homes and with regular support to enable them to do so. The organisation operates as a social enterprise and is a registered charity.
As the parent of an autistic child and through his involvement with a national charity, Alan Chesworth founded Housing Initiatives to provide a higher quality of service to adults with learning difficulties. Sadly, Alan died in May 2007 but left behind a well established company to carry forward the aims for which Housing Initiatives was set up.
In March 2001 the Government published a white paper - Valuing People: A Strategy for Learning Disability for the 21st Century. The aim was to challenge prejudice and discrimination towards a group of people who find themselves pushed to the margins of our society.
Four principles lie at the heart of the strategy:
One of the major problem areas identified was 'housing choice is limited'.
Secure housing is a right denied to many people with learning disabilities and traditionally this group of people were housed in institutional style accommodation. As the provision of care was tied to the provision of accommodation the individual was powerless to change their care provider, if they were dissatisfied with the care they were receiving - without moving accommodation. This was because the accommodation was provided by the same organisation as provided the care. Following the Government’s The Supporting People Programme in April 2003, the previous approach was transformed.
Housing Initiatives provides supported accommodation for people with learning and other disabilities. The whole concept of Housing Initiatives is to provide homes where the individual is a tenant with all the rights and security that go with a tenancy. This means that the tenant has more rights, independence and choice over where they live, how they live, who provides their care together with a greater opportunity to take a fuller role in society. The tenant is given their own independence, but with the care and support elements needed. Referrals for tenancies come through Social Services departments and other specialist agencies, and it is a condition of tenancy that the tenant has in place a care and support package.
Housing Initiatives has established that there is a high demand for the type of tenancies provided and have forged links with a number of specialist agencies in the voluntary sector as well as with Sefton and Liverpool Social Services Departments, and are actively seeking further opportunities to work in partnership with other local authorities and agencies to create additional tenancies for people with learning and other disabilities.
Board of Trustees
Director of Fundraising
Community Mental Health Nurse
Former LFC Player
Merseyside Police Commissioner