ACS Plus is proud to launch ‘Our House’ services

Our House is a supported housing service for young LGBTQI+ people with learning disabilities and autism who want to live independently in their own homes.

There are many brilliant government-supported housing schemes that are designed to help young people move into a home of their own. However, these welcome initiatives are, sadly, not accessible to all young people. There seems to be a failure to address the housing needs of those with disabilities – specifically learning disabilities and/or autism most of whom will never be able to afford a deposit for a house, no matter the discount offered.

Charlie is one such young man who has learning disabilities and autism who has been looking to move into independent living for several years and is now looking in the private sector to try and find somewhere suitable. His care package has all been agreed, as his chosen care provider we (ACS) are very enthusiastic and determined to help him find a suitable place to call home by ‘Our House’ campaign which will enable Charlie to live in his own house but with support from ACS to live life fully in the way that any other 25-year-old might want.

“My brothers went to live in their own places with their housemates so why can’t I?” says Charlie.

Charlie is looking for a place in Winchester where he already has a support network of family members. “I looked at a house near my grandmother but it was a student house which had a kicked in door and really grotty kitchen. They said they would tidy it up before I moved in but it has been empty for a year so why hasn’t the owner done it before? If I lived there and something went wrong like a boiler breaking, I need to live in a place where the owner cares about the place and would fix it – that place he didn’t seem to care about so I don’t think he would care about me even if my support workers asked him.”

“I want to live in a nice house with a friendly community where I can do a voluntary job in a community café like I do now and have a garden where I can go and do my processing when I get anxious.” According to the National Autistic Society, only 16% of those on the spectrum are in full time employment, while Mencap states that only 6% of people with more severe learning disabilities are in any sort of paid employment.

Often unable to work (a huge barrier when trying to buy or rent a home) this section of our population like their non-disabled counterparts, long for a place to call home. And for those whom residential care is not appropriate, the options however are very limited. Sheltered accommodation is almost exclusively built and available for people over 55-years-old and supported housing can very often follow the set-up of a care home, where the landlord and the care provider are inextricably linked, despite the tenant having their own tenancy agreement.

Ian Gilders of The Learning Disability and Autism Housing Network describes on his website this cohort as being stuck between a rock and a hard place. “There is a desperate need for more housing for people with learning disabilities and other long-term disabilities – homes offering independence but with support, but mainstream housing associations aren’t building them”.

That is also where we come in, our aim is to provide high-quality, safe and stable independent housing services for young people with disabilities and from the LGBTQI+ community.

We hope this campaign will raise awareness, promote young peoples’ independence and allow them to celebrate who they are in their own homes. ACS Plus will be launching its first house in Hampshire, around the Winchester area.

We have openings available for house mates who have who want to live independently in a house with other autistic and learning disabled, young LGBTQI+ people. If you would like to take part in this unique opportunity, we look forward to hearing from you.

Contact us on: or 0207 993 4159.

We also have employment opportunities available for bright, brilliant and enthusiastic support staff.