Nearly 300,000 disabled people are living in unsuitable homes
22nd December 2014
This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.
A recent report called ‘No Place Like Home’ produced by the Leonard Cheshire Disability charity has found that almost 300,000 disabled people live in unsuitable homes. One of the shocking statistics revealed that 84 per cent of councils have no information about accessible housing, meaning many are living without accommodation adapted to include disabled stairlifts and wheelchair ramps.
The information was requested using the Freedom of Information Act, and was sent to 305 councils, of which 151 authorities replied. Those that responded reported a total of 162,910 disabled people on their housing waiting lists, and of the councils that did respond, only 10% could provide data on how many of the homes in their district were built to lifetime home standards.
Charity claims more needs to be done to help those in need
The government and housing developers have been accused by the charity of failing those stuck on the housing waiting lists across the UK. However, the Local Government Association responded to this statement, claiming that they are currently doing all that they can to help those in need of accessible and adaptable housing.
It is thought that unsuitable housing is costing the health service £600 million every year, and is a figure that is only expected to worsen if no plans are enforced to address the current situation. The charity has now urged the government to make it mandatory for disabled-friendly homes to be included in developers’ plans, with 10% being made fully wheelchair accessible by 2012.
Lifetime home standards requires housing to be built to incorporate 16 design criteria, which ensures that they are easily adaptable to suit the needs of those with mobility requirements. This includes doorways wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair and internal walls that are strong enough for additions such as handrails and spacious walk-in showers.
Image Credit: Steve Johnson (Flickr.com)
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