National Strategy for autistic children, young people, and adults 2021-2026

The national strategy for autistic children, young people and adults 2021 to 2026 cover

The Government has published the next strategy to improve the lives of autistic people: the national strategy for autistic children, young people, and adults: 2021 – 2026. This new strategy, the first of its kind to cover children and young people as well as adults, focuses on supporting autistic people to live their lives in their communities, widening the focus beyond social care and health services, and includes references to housing.

It states:

“We will also improve autistic people’s access to housing and social care that meets their needs, by increasing the provision of supported housing, enabling more people to access adaptations to their homes and reforming the social care system so it is fit for purpose.”

It also makes some specific commitments to see further growth in supported housing and also to adapt the existing homes for people with autism as follows:

To ensure autistic people, as well as disabled and older people, have better access to supported housing, we have committed that 10% of the homes built via the £11.5 billion new Affordable Homes Programme will be supported housing by 2026. Many autistic people can live well in their own homes if these are adapted to their needs, for example by having their walls sound-proofed to prevent sensory distress. The Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) is provided by councils to meet the costs of such adaptations. However, we anecdotally know that Local Authorities are not always aware of how adaptations can support autistic people, and that many autistic people do not know of the grant’s existence. That is why we will work with the National Body for Home Improvement Agencies to offer support to Local Authority DFG teams and will reach out to autism charities to raise autistic people’s awareness of how the DFG can support autistic people.

For more about improving the housing choices of people with a learning disability or autism, check out our dedicated webpages here.