The trend towards community living for people with learning disabilities puts pressure on traditional hierarchical lines of resource management. A sample of 150 community residential facilities is surveyed in order to describe the systems used to manage resources in the community and to assess the impact they have on the quality of service provided. There are marked differences amongst provider agencies in the degree to which responsibility for resource management is devolved to facility managers and this has a direct effect on the quality of care. Residential homes which operate under centralised management systems are more institutional in their care practices and less responsive to individual clients' needs. In contrast, homes in which responsibility is delegated to the facility manager provide a service more in keeping with current philosophies of care. The results of this survey suggest that more responsibility for resource management can be delegated to facility managers without losing control of expenditure and with improvements in the efficiency and effectiveness of care.