Supported housing for people living with mental illness - project update May 2022

The Mental Health Supported Housing Co-design Final Report is now available.

Thursday, 31 March 2022 at 10:00 pm

The Mental Health Supported Housing Co-design Final Report outlines the housing and support needs and preferences of people with lived experience of mental illness and unstable housing. It provides recommendations for the provision of social housing and associated mental health and well-being services.

A co-design process was undertaken from October 2021 to February 2022, led by a project team that included people with lived experiences of mental illness and unstable housing.  

The process included: 

  • a project team including people with lived experience, critical friends and experts working to plan, design and execute the project; as well as formulating, reviewing and determining the outcomes 
  • lived experience facilitators engaging with 37 people with lived experience of mental illness and unstable housing and/or homelessness, 8 representatives for families and carers, as well as 21 service providers from the community housing and mental health and well-being sectors
  • over 21 focus groups and interviews with the housing and mental health sectors, along with more than 50 reports, research findings and evaluations submitted by organisations. 

The key phases of the co-design process were to: 

  • Immerse to create an understanding of people's needs and capture providers’ points of view and experience of housing and support models through in-depth focus groups and interviews.  
  • Design the requirements for housing and support service design and their integration to create an interim report presenting key findings/commentary. 
  • Test and Deliver to evaluate the developed design ideas, based on their desirability, feasibility and viability 

The co-design project identified key principles, preferred housing options and features for homes and supports for people with lived experience of mental illness. The co-design final report provides a summary of the project approach and outlines the findings and recommendations arising from the co-design process, including inputs from the literature scan conducted as part of the project. These insights will inform the future implementation of housing delivery through a person-centred approach.  

Following on from the co-design project, Homes Victoria is now seeking grant proposals from community housing agencies to deliver new supported housing dwellings for people living with mental illness. The Mental Health Supported Housing Round along with the other rounds of the Social Housing Growth Fund Grants Program will secure 500 purpose-built dwellings in total.  

The housing and support provided through this round will be expected to meet the intent and recommendations provided in the co-design project report through models that uphold the rights and choices of people living with mental illness, and which embed collaboration with housing and mental health and well-being support providers and culturally appropriate supports.  

Find out more about the Social Housing Growth Fund.