Research by Aspire, a national charity that provides practical help to people who have been paralysed by Spinal Cord Injury, has found that there is simply not enough wheelchair accessible housing in the country to meet the needs of the population.
Most people’s homes aren’t suitable for a wheelchair user, so where they will live is at the forefront of a Spinal Cord Injured person’s mind when they are ready to leave hospital.
Aspire’s research has found that:
- fewer wheelchair accessible homes were built in 2013 than in 2005.
- there are around 24,000 wheelchair users in England waiting for appropriate social or affordable housing.
- if allocation rates continue at the current rate it would take 6 years to meet current demand, and that does not take into consideration new wheelchair users coming into the system.
Aspire calls for:
- 10 per cent of all new build properties to be wheelchair accessible
- Wheelchair users waiting for housing on local authority housing lists to be given priority when a wheelchair accessible home becomes available
- Greater ownership of housing lists by local authorities so that, where there are outsourcing arrangements, they still retain control and oversight of the housing needs of disabled people in their locality.
To request a copy of the full report, go to http://aspire.org.uk/housing-report.aspx.