The need for housing services for young people with disabilities will increase

Published: 26.1.2022 9.08

The need for intensive sheltered housing for people with disabilities will increase in the future. Young people value a quiet neighborhood that is close to nature and with good transport connections and local services. This is according to a survey of people with disabilities aged 15–30.

A survey on future housing needs was carried out last autumn. The responses to the survey indicate that the need for intensive sheltered housing is increasing. Every year, 30–40 new people move into sheltered housing for people with disabilities. Of the young people who responded to the survey (N=76), 28 would like to move into their own homes in the next two years. Most of these are people with intellectual disabilities. Ideally, they would like to live in a building specifically built for people with disabilities. They will need a fair amount of support and supervision to help them live on their own. Many of them cannot manage independently at night and also need regular supervision. Living at one’s childhood home is also a popular option.

Willingness to move has decreased

The previous survey was conducted in 2014. The willingness to move has decreased since 2014 when one in ten respondents said that they did not feel the need to move. Now the corresponding figure is one in five. In recent years, a fairly large number of housing units have been established, providing housing for those who wish to move and reducing the queues for housing services. This partially explains the decline in the willingness to move.

Quiet neighborhood important

Respondents to the survey consider the peacefulness of the neighborhood and its proximity to nature to be important criteria. They also value local services and good transport connections. On the other hand, good exercise opportunities were not considered particularly important.

The open responses highlighted the importance of being close to family and friends. Respondents were concerned about loneliness and possible fears, and the support available to address them.

“I would like to live somewhere with friends around/near me so that I’m not alone.” We received similar responses in the 2014 survey.

Survey on future housing service needs

The survey received 76 responses (24.5% response rate). More than half of the respondents responded to the survey together with a family member. Just under a third of respondents responded as a family member of a young person with a disability, and 14.4% responded independently.

The survey asked respondents to name their most significant disability causing the need for support. Standing out from the responses were intellectual disability (50 people), autism spectrum (20 people), and acquired disability / long-term illness (10 people). Many of the people reached by the survey live with their families.

Approximately 83% of the respondents were Finnish-speaking. The proportion of speakers of other languages was higher than that of Swedish speakers.

We will use the responses to plan housing services

The survey was part of the City of Espoo’s assessment of the adequacy of housing services for people with disabilities. The information will also be used in the preparation of the future Western Uusimaa wellbeing services county. The survey was carried out by KPMG Oy Ab in cooperation with the City of Espoo.

Information on housing services on the disability services web pages

The responses also raised practical questions about moving and housing services. The survey asked people what kind of housing options the City of Espoo should provide more information about. Based on the responses, the greatest need is for information on the supported living.

We have compiled information about housing-related services and the types of support we offer to people with disabilities on the Housing services for persons with disabilities page.

On the page, you can download a guide to housing and watch housing-related videos, among other things.