Learning Disabilities, Autism and Neurodivergence Bill: consultation

Closes 21 Apr 2024

Housing and Independent Living

Appropriate housing for neurodivergent people and people with learning disabilities is crucial in helping them to live safe and independent lives. Whilst most people live in mainstream housing, for some people accessible or supported housing will be the most appropriate option. 

Unsuitable housing can have a negative impact on neurodivergent people, people with learning disabilities, their families and their carers, including impacting on mobility, poorer mental health social isolation and a lack of employment opportunities.  Appropriate housing is therefore an essential requirement of independent living.  

What can the Learning Disabilities, Autism and Neurodivergence (LDAN) Bill do?

The Bill could provide a stronger focus on how public authorities’ duties around housing and independent living can best be met for people with learning disabilities and neurodivergent people. Some or all of the following could be explored further for possible inclusion in the Bill, or other work.

Proposal 1: Advice, advocacy and guidance

Adequate housing advice, support and advocacy were thought to be necessary to enable neurodivergent people and people with learning disabilities to access their rights to housing and independent living. There is already an advice service available, Housing Options Scotland, however this is not an independent advocacy service.

Whilst another section of this consultation deals with independent advocacy, this could include consideration of the introduction of specialist advocacy services for housing support.

Proposal 2: Neurodivergence and learning disabilities strategies

Strategies are discussed in the overarching themes section of this consultation where we propose legislative requirements for national and local strategies in future.  We could require strategies produced by local authorities to set out how independent living principles are embedded into assessment and allocations policies, to ensure real choice and control.

Local Authorities must currently produce Local Housing Strategies. We could consider whether these must also set out how the needs of neurodivergent people and people with learning disabilities are met, and to evaluate their progress.  

With regard to Integration Authorities, we could consider requiring that their neurodivergent and learning disabilities strategies must: set out how housing, care and health services are integrated; describe the supports available to people to help them live independently; and, evaluate progress against this.

Proposal 3: Mandatory training for housing professionals

As set out in the overarching themes section, we have proposed introducing a statutory requirement for learning disabilities and neurodivergence training for professionals who work in health and social care settings.  We could consider extending this requirement to housing service professionals.  

Proposal 4: Data

We could consider the following in relation to data collection on housing and independent living:  

        • Relevant public bodies, such as local authorities, to improve the way data is collected and shared, on the requirements of neurodivergent people, and people with learning disabilities, and their housing needs.
        • Collection of data on how many people with learning disabilities are considered not to have access to appropriate housing.

Proposal 5: Inclusive communications

We are making proposals to improve communications. We think there is likely to be a need for some documents in relation to housing to be available in easy read formats.

Please tell us what you think.

Related information

Consultation Questions

The questions in this document refer to information contained in our consultation document and various alternative formats which can all be found here

You need only answer questions in the sections most relevant to you.

Which of these proposals do you agree with (if any), please tell us why?
Which of these proposals do you not agree with (if any), please tell us why?
Is there anything else that we should consider in relation to housing and independent living?