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Understanding Disabled People's Housing Pathways: Initial Insights

Understanding Disabled People's Housing Pathways: Initial Insights

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

ISBN: 9781785448805

This was a short research project in which we collected and analysed information on disabled people's experiences when trying to find a suitable home that met their needs and that they could afford. The research found that disabled people face significant barriers that are financial, technical, attitudinal and financial. Their experience can be improved by ensuring they have control and choice, respect, independence and being part of a community.

Executive Summary

The research found three key elements that can impact on disabled people’s housing pathways:

• Financial/economic status: whether or not people can afford to buy a home or adaptations.

• Property/Supply: availability of appropriate housing

• Household composition: whether or not people live with a partner, children, or parents.

Five factors that can lead to a positive housing experience and outcome for disabled people were identified as follows:

• Location: sense of community belonging; near family/friends; feeling safe; good local care services; access to services including public transport.

• Space: Accessibility; space for equipment and adaptations; garden for families with children.

• Participation: including choice in housing decisions; respect, dignity and being listened to and understood.

• Information: information on medical conditions; information on future implications for housing; information on housing options available; information provided early in the process.

• Social and emotional understanding: respecting social and emotional living needs; local community groups and respite services.

Finally we found four factors that can contribute to a negative housing experience for disabled people. These are:

• Logistical issues: application processes for social housing inaccessible for some; disconnected support services.

• Technical issues: adaptations not keeping up with continually changing needs; hospital discharges before suitable housing arranged.

• Attitudinal issues: being considered adequately housed; lack of understanding of issues people face.

• Financial issues: unable to afford adaptations/care/suitable home; welfare reform.