Housing and Disabled People: Wales' hidden crisis

Housing and Disabled People: Wales's Hidden Crisis Cover

In 2016 the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) began their formal inquiry into housing for disabled people. They looked at whether the availability of accessible and adaptable housing, and the support services around it, is fulfilling disabled people's rights to live independently.

One of three inquiry reports, this one spotlights on the state of the housing for people with a disability in Wales highlighting the impact of unsuitable housing on disabled people. In particular, the EHRC found 4 major challenges that have informed their recommendations:

  1. disabled people are too often demoralised and frustrated by the housing system
  2. there is a significant shortage of accessible homes
  3. installing home adaptations involves unacceptable bureaucracy and delay
  4. disabled people are not getting the support that they need to live independently

The resultant Welsh report recommends that more adaptable homes are built for disabled people and that local and national governments engage with disabled people at planning stages drawing specific attention to:

  • Building more accessible and adaptable homes and calling on government to introduce a national strategy, ensuring that 10% new homes are built to wheelchair-accessible standards underpinned by the Wellbeing of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 when planning for accessible homes;
  • Improving the installation of home adaptions, including ensuring more funding is available to increase supply of independent advice & information on housing options;
  • Matching homes to the people that need them, including embedding independent living principles into housing assessments & allocations as well improving knowledge and monitoring accessibility of housing via accessible housing registers; and
  • Supporting people to live independently, including better integrated funding across housing, health and care and access to disability advice and advocacy services.

Access the British report
Access the Scottish report