Finding the Collective Voice — the role of family and community in improving housing options for adults with disability

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This thesis describes the activities and strategies of parents and not-for-profit non-government organisations (NGOs) to create new homes for adults with disability. Theories of institutional entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship and social innovation explain the power of families and NGOs to create new homes when traditional housing systems were constrained and government-funded housing was difficult to access. Cross-case comparison of 11 case studies used activity theory to study innovative living arrangements created by combining resources and other inputs from different actors across sectoral boundaries until new homes were attained and adults could live with more independence. Families and NGOs were institutional entrepreneurs, innovators and change agents who created new homes in new ways for adults when housing was a necessity and there was no other way of achieving it. The research contributes to the practice of institutional entrepreneurship, the field of the study of power, the discipline of social entrepreneurship and the application of social innovation in meeting housing needs. Activity theory revealed that the institutions of family, the state and the not-for-profit sector can achieve new models of housing and paid support for adults when they collaborate, combine resources and act together without regard for housing system or sector boundaries.
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