What place is there for shared housing with individualized disability support?

Karen R. Fisher, Christiane Purcal, Anna Jones, Deborah Lutz, Sally Robinson, Rosemary Kayess

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: Individualized funding of disability support services has implications for people’s choices about when to share their home. This paper examines how people with disabilities made choices about who to live with and the factors influencing these choices. Methods: This paper discusses data from interviews with 30 people with mostly intellectual disabilities using individualized support services, 21 interviews with family members, four interviews with service managers, and a focus group with five support workers. The data come from a large evaluation of individualized housing support programs in New South Wales, Australia. Results: Only some people had the opportunity to choose whether to share and with whom. Their choices were constrained by the range of housing options and their limited experience of them, even when they had support to make choices about shared housing or living alone. In some cases, the choices reflected a conceptualization of people with disabilities as different to other citizens in their rights and expectations about their social arrangements. Conclusion: The results have implications for information sharing, housing stock, and the need to challenge the positioning of people with disabilities relative to other people regarding choices about where and with whom to live.Implications for rehabilitation Many people preferred not to live alone, so as to improve their economic and social circumstances, and their choice and control. The choices about shared housing that many people and their supporters made were constrained by their limited experience of housing options or their familiarity with the range of choices made by other people with disabilities. Being able to draw on the material, social, and information resources of family made a big difference to their housing choices. It raises questions for policy implementation about whether individualized support may lock some people into shared housing arrangements by failing to include housing costs in the individual package.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-68
Number of pages10
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • accommodation support
  • capacity
  • housing choice
  • Housing support
  • individualized funding


Dive into the research topics of 'What place is there for shared housing with individualized disability support?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this