Gains in addiction treatment at risk as rental accommodation is squeezed

node leader
8 October 2015

Karen Biggs, Phoenix Futures Chief Exec, talks about increasing challenges for people in recovery to find stable homes.

A perfect storm of factors affecting the UK rental housing market risks the chances of people affected by substance misuse in maintaining their long term recovery. A housing policy focused on home ownership and the introduction of Right to Buy for Housing Association tenants is piling the pressure on an already declining social housing provision. More people are entering drug and alcohol treatment without appropriate accommodation and leaving with their recovery at risk from unstable housing.

Our unique position as both a drug and alcohol treatment charity and a Housing Association means we’re ideally placed to understand the value of stable and appropriate rental accommodation for people in recovery. Nearly 10,000 people entered drug treatment in acute housing need last year.  Whilst treatment outcomes are better than ever, the challenges faced by our service users in finding appropriate housing are considerable. Having a safe and stable place to be enables our service users to take stock, plan for the future, access the job market and engage positively in their community.

Phoenix Futures has recently released a report titled ‘Building Recovery Friendly Communities’ that makes the case for specialist recovery housing bringing together a pathway of housing support that promotes sustained recovery in the community. The report highlights the need to ensure communities offer a joined-up housing pathway that supports individual’s and families’ long term recovery journeys.

Addiction and homelessness have no respect for social status or economic wealth. People who experience addiction are our brothers, mums, sons, wives and husbands; they are our neighbours and our friends, which is why community is one of the most important elements of recovery. We are very proud to release this report of best practice which reflects our knowledge and expertise on both substance misuse treatment and in the housing sector.

Phoenix is seeking the engagement of local authorities, treatment providers and Housing Associations to join them in closing the housing gap that risks success in treatment for individuals, families and communities affected by substance misuse. 

Download a copy of the report by clicking here

Phoenix Futures is a registered charity in England and Wales (No 284880) and in Scotland (No SCO39008); Company Limited by Guarantee Number 1626869; Registered Provider of Social Housing with Homes England (H3795).