Housing plight of adults with autism highlighted by MP

June 23, 2009 12:08 PM

David HowarthThe plight of Cambridge adults with autism who fail to qualify for supported housing has been highlighted by the city's MP during a debate in the Commons.

Mr Howarth spoke out during a debate on the Autism Bill which he hopes will lead to the creation of the first ever law to protect adults with autism.

He asked for reassurance that planning for housing would be included in the new legislation which "places a duty on local authorities and the NHS to recognise and fulfill their responsibilities towards people with autism".

"I have come across many problems in my constituency involving the housing needs of people - especially adults with autism," he said. "I would like some reassurance that planning for housing will also be part of the process."

Parents of adult children with autism have complained that there is no supported housing provision in Cambridge.

They claim adults with other life-long conditions have access to supported housing but those with autism or Asperger's Syndrome have to fend for themselves.

Now a group of parents, with the help of Cambridge's Umbrella Autism charity, are working with Cambridge City Council to try to find a suitable site in the city for supported housing.

Mr Howarth said after the debate: "Autism is a serious, life-long and disabling condition and these people need secure, supported housing, but under the present system, they don't qualify.

"If this Bill becomes law it will be a long overdue and very welcome piece of legislation. It is vital, therefore, that it directly addresses crucial issues such as this."

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