Where next for Home Truths?

17 June 2015

Amy Lambertby Amy Lambert

Over the last year we've been calling for more disabled-friendly homes and — with your support — we've already made a real difference to disabled people’s lives.

Now we need your views to help us decide where we take the campaign next.

What you did

Ruby and Cody at homeWhen we launched Home Truths we felt like we had really struck a chord. Lots of disabled people got in touch to share their experiences of being trapped in a home that’s completely unsuitable for their needs.

In the run up to the general election, hundreds of you contacted your local candidates about the campaign, thousands of you signed Sue’s petition and tens of thousands of you watched Ruby and Cody’s video.

What we achieved

Stacie and MayWith your help we have changed people’s lives. People like Stacie Lewis.

Stacie has leukaemia and lives in a first-floor flat with her five-year-old daughter May. May is severely brain damaged and cannot walk or even sit unaided.

Before getting involved with Home Truths, they had been on the housing waiting list for two years. Despite Stacie’s cancer and May’s disability, they had not been placed in the top band to receive housing.

But recently they were moved up the list and have now been shortlisted for a property.

‘Leonard Cheshire was instrumental in getting the word out about our desperate housing situation.

‘Without the campaign, I really think we would have had years to wait before being shortlisted for a property.’ — Stacie

We’ve seen the issue of disabled-friendly housing pushed up the agenda and being discussed in Westminster, in the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh Assembly.

We’ve secured commitments from the government to ensure that local councils are still able to require homes to be built to be disabled-friendly in their area.

We’ve also seen design standards that councils can use put into law for the first time.

What next?

Disabled-friendly housing will be one of a number of issues we'll be campaigning on over the next few months as we listen and respond to what disabled people tell us is important to them.

With a new government we're facing a different political landscape than when we launched the campaign.

However, our message remains clear: too many disabled people are living in homes that are simply not suitable for their needs, and this has to change.

In the coming months there are lots of opportunities for us to push for change. Here are some of the options we are exploring:

  • Working with the government to make sure the upcoming Housing Bill includes commitments around building more disabled-friendly homes.
  • Working with campaigners to ensure local councils include provisions in their local housing plans to make sure there are enough disabled-friendly homes.
  • Making sure more people get the adaptations and improvements they need to their current homes, and get them at a time that works for them.
  • Working in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to make sure disabled-friendly housing is a priority in the run up to the devolved elections in 2016.

But we want to hear your views about where we should go next with the campaign.

We are going to need your input and your support to make sure we are saying the right things to the right people to make sure we get more disabled-friendly homes. 

Let us know what you think by leaving a comment below or sending us an email.

Amy Lambert is National Campaigns Officer for Leonard Cheshire Disability.


Thanks Leonard for the effort shown to achieve this.my idea is that we can also work with disabled people's organizations ,and civil society organizations,to easily reach people with different disabilities and address their housing needs it

The volume housebuilders are extremely unlikely to build 'disabled-friendly homes' voluntarily and Government policy does not require them to. Leonard Cheshire needs to take positive unilateral action by supporting the establishment of a national disabled persons' housing co-operative, which would take advantage of Government policies to support self-build and custom-build schemes. As a result of the Housing Standards Review, Councils are no longer permitted to require volume housebuilders to build wheelchair-adaptable (Category 2) or wheelchair-accessible (Category 3) dwellings without evidence of need and subject to a financial viability (for the developer) test. A housing co-operative could most productively work with Parish Councils and Neighbourhood Forums which are preparing a Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP). A NDP may allocate land for particular purposes and grant planning permission through a neighbourhood development order (NDO). So, the co-operative could establish need in an area and help its members to raise finance. Then it could work with the Parish Council or Neighbourhood Forum to allocate land for the houses and grant planning permission. There are small housing co-operatives already in existence but this model needs to be uprated to address the national need that exists. Even where a NDP is not in place, the co-operative could help to gather the evidence needed to persuade Councils to require volume housebuilders to build Category 2 and 3 housing.

Thanks for your comment Philip. We really appreciate you getting in touch and sharing your thoughts. We are going to be looking at a number of different options for the next stage of Home Truths and will make sure your ideas are included in the discussions we have.

We own our own home. My partner/carer has to work compacted full time hours. We were refused dfg just on the grounds of his salary . I am disabled not him....I cant have a nhs power chair now why? Because without the dfg our house isn nhs wheelchair acceptable. Im 51 reabled female who worked and paid in prior to disability and illness. Its disgusting.

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