Charities call for action on accessible housing

  • Charities are calling on politicians in Yorkshire to stop the crisis in accessible housing which is affecting the lives of thousands of disabled people. /images/blog/disabledhome.jpg

    Leonard Cheshire Disability charity has told The Yorkshire Post that the lack of housing which is accessible for people with disabilities must become and election issue and is calling for the Government to commit to be building more homes that are accessible for people with disabilities.

    The charity have been campaigning for eighteen months on the issues along with fellow charity Livability, and together they are calling on local authorities to introduce registers of all accessible housing stock in the area to ensure it can be allocated to people who need it most.

    Leonard Cheshire Disability conducted research last year that found 33,500 people with disabilities are on housing waiting lists across Yorkshire, and only 11% of the region's local authorities had an accessible housing register.

    The charity's policy and research manager, Ciaran Osborne, said the new Government could "transform" the options available to disabled people if it were to legislate to force developers to build new housing to Lifetime Homes standards -16 additional features like wider corridors, no steps to the entrance and strengthened walls suitable for grab bars, which cost just £1,100 extra on average to install.

    He said: "This should an election issue. People talk about affordability and the number of homes being built, but if these don't meet up to the needs of disabled people, who represent one in six of us, this problem is only going to increase. This is something parties should be looking at."

    Livability's lead officer for user involvement, Stephen Springer said the government should "enforce or encourage" developers to ensure that all future housing is built to lifetime home standards.

    He added: "This is particularly important for social housing where tenants are twice as likely to be disabled people."

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