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Deinstitutionalisation, one of the most significant social policies of the last century, was introduced into Australia from the 1960s, and involved the closure or downsizing of large institutions and the integration of people with disability and mental illness into the community. One of the community-based accommodation options for people leaving institutions was boarding houses. This paper presents the findings of a study into the use of licensed boarding houses for people with intellectual disability and people with mental illness in Sydney, Australia. The study aimed to explore how boarding houses operate as an accommodation option within the policy of deinstitutionalisation and the extent to which this accommodation type upholds human rights principles and contributes to residents' quality of life. Forty interviews were conducted with a range of participants including current and former residents, proprietors of licensed boarding houses, and staff of community organisations and government agencies about licensed boarding houses and the quality of life of residents. The study found that licensed boarding houses are a form of transinstitutionalisation and do not serve to enact the human rights principles articulated in current policy and legislation.

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Journal Article

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