Understanding the housing preferences of younger adults with complex physical and psychological disabilities: Likes, dislikes and must-haves
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Purpose: Although the last thirty years has seen significant developments in the Australian Disability and Housing sectors, the range of current housing options for Australian adults with complex physical and cognitive disabilities remain vastly under-developed. In fact, a combination of circumstances has led to the systemic, but unintended, domination of the group home model in Australian social and disability housing provision, despite a widely accepted and endorsed recognition that people with all forms of disability have a right to the accommodation of their choice. Indeed, the key actions made by the Australian Disability and Housing sectors to translate housing choice policy into practice have been largely ineffective in generating change for people with higher care and support needs. With the lack of long-term, suitable supported accommodation design alternatives remaining a significant issue in Australia, this timely contribution to the field proposes a new direction for disability housing: one that is based on consumer preferences and conducive to a person’s biological, psychological and social health. Question: This multi-year study aims to systematically identify housing characteristics (and preferred combinations thereof) valued by consumers with complex health conditions to guide future residential design and (re)development decisions. Methodology: A review of the literature in this emerging area of scholarship and an innovative methodology (i.e., mixed-methods preference approach using a Discrete Choice Experiment design) to determine consumer-oriented, market relevant preferences will be presented. Implications: The significance of a preference approach highlights the trade-offs involved in the decision-making process of individuals regarding the goods and services they have the opportunity to choose from. By demonstrating the goods or services consumers prioritize, a consumer preference approach is better able to inform market decisions around viability and consumer value than an approach broadly asking individuals want they ‘want’. Thus, eliciting consumer housing preferences to inform the development of new housing design will result in marketrelevant housing solutions that are meaningful to users. Having choice of stable, supported accommodation alternatives that are indicative of consumer aspirations and priorities will likely increase the self-determination and quality of life of people with complex health conditions living in Australia. This result is particularly relevant in the rapidly changing context of an NDIS.
Research to Action CADR Conference 2014
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