Founder, Grant Livingston

Having left my job in the City to move to Dorset with my wife and daughters, I was determined to use my time, energy and change in circumstance to make a real difference. Specialised Supported Housing began with an idea. Find a new way to approach housing for vulnerable adults. A better way.

Back in 2011, news reached me of a public residential care scandal that resonated deeply with a personal experience that dominated much of my early life. Then, during my transition, I learnt that a coalition government housing plan needed the private sector to help supply supported living environments for people with learning and physical disabilities. It was clear that the world of supported housing needed to change. And, after two decades of work in financial services with a focus on property and infrastructure investment, I knew I had the personal commitment, skills, and experience to do something about it. 

Having grown up with a brother with a learning disability, I was acutely aware of the difficulties of supporting someone with complex care requirements – the heartache and pressure families experience when parents are unable to continue without external help. I also had first-hand experience of the constraints of institutional care. Whilst residential care homes played a vital role in his life and offered help and support that we all desperately needed, they were clearly not the right environment for him. I knew I could offer something different. And so Specialised Supported Housing was born. 

I put together a team of like-minded partners, and we set to work on our first scheme. From the beginning the key was to hold ourselves accountable – make property development personal. We wanted to create spaces that we would be prepared to live in ourselves. And we refused to compromise on either location or quality. 

The result was Baskerville Hall. Twelve one-bedroom apartments for individuals with physical or learning disabilities to live safer, happier, and more independent lives. A home built around them.  A home for life.

Now, our small company has five more supported housing developments across Worcestershire, Dorset and Chesterfield. And we’re continuing to grow, using our fully flexible business model to secure some of the very best partners in the sector.

Chris Watson

Chris joined Specialised Supported Housing in August 2018, bringing over 20 years of experience working across the public and voluntary sector in the fields of health, social care and community development.  Most recently, he was lead Commissioner for Dorset, working strategically to deliver national priorities of helping people with learning disabilities move out of institutionalised living environments and into their own homes.
Chris is passionate about equality of opportunity and human rights.  Throughout his career, Chris has spearheaded the development of commissioning systems that support individual choice, control and the personalisation of services. He is driven by the knowledge that an ordinary life is achievable for all and that good housing for people within their communities forms the bedrock of this.

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You can reach Grant on 0330 223 0176 or info@specialisedsupportedhousing.co.uk