Response to Independent Living Program Quality Evaluation

27 Mar 2017

Access Housing recently completed an independent Quality Evaluation review of our Independent Living Program (ILP), which is a specialist housing program for tenants living with a mental illness. The evaluation took place over a three month period in late 2016, with the final report received in January 2017.

Access Housing has managed 272 Community Housing Disability Program – Independent Living Program properties since program inception in 2006/07, which currently provide accommodation for 304 clients. Access Housing’s ILP portfolio is spread over four Mental Health Clinic jurisdictions – Fremantle, Rockingham/Kwinana, Peel and Armadale. Under the ILP arrangements, Access Housing as landlord works with tenants and their Mental Health services and support providers to sustain tenancies and achieve positive tenancy outcomes.

The original funding (pre 2013) was linked to Access Housing being a benevolent landlord in recognition of the increased resources and costs associated with the program. In 2013 Access Housing secured a five (5) year contract with the Mental Health Commission to provide Person Centered Support linked to Housing for the 272 ILP properties.

The Mental Health Commission has developed a quality management framework for funded organisations, which includes a Mental Health Outcomes Statement and National Standards for Mental Health Services. The aim of the framework is for service providers to engage in a process of continuous improvement towards achieving the outcomes in practice and meeting standards. The evaluation was based on feedback from consumers, staff knowledge and understanding, observations and assessment of documentation.

Access Housing welcomes the evaluation as a tool to clarify the Mental Health Commission’s expectations in regards to the contract for Person Centered Support in the provision of housing, in particular the definition of Standards and Service Outcomes. The Evaluation Report has provided more clarity to the expectations of the contract. Access Housing accepts the Required Actions and Opportunities for Service Improvement described in the evaluation report.

This response document outlines the key findings and recommendations and Access Housing’s program and approach for responding. Click here to read Access Housing’s Strategic Response to the Quality Evaluation Report: Outcomes and Standards.