Letter to the Guardian: accessible housing is a right
31 March 2016
Our campaigns director, Peter Jenkins, has had a letter published in the Guardian about the lack of disabled-friendly homes.
Jackie Ashley is right in saying that laws protecting disabled tenants all too often go unenforced.
In fact, despite the protections outlined in the Equality Act, research we conducted in 2014 found that the majority of councils are not thinking about the housing needs of disabled people. Just 16% could provide any data on how many homes in their area were wheelchair-accessible and over 80% did not have an accessible housing register.
At present the only option for many disabled people living in unsuitable buildings is to take their council or housing provider to court.
This is costly, emotionally exhausting and provides no guarantee of success. The answer is to build an adequate proportion of new homes to ‘Lifetime Homes’ standards. These homes are easily adaptable and would reduce the cost of adaptations for councils. This way, accessible housing would be readily available for both disabled tenants and those with progressive conditions.
Everybody should have the right to a safe, suitable and accessible home to call their own.
Campaigns director, Leonard Cheshire Disability
Find out more about this issue through our Home Truths campaign pages.