Match Me: what works for adapted social housing lettings? Action Research to enhance independent living for disabled people
In partnership with Housing Options Scotland and University of Stirling, Horizon was awarded a research grant in January 2017 by the Disability Research into Independent Living and Learning (DRILL) programme, supported by the Big Lottery Fund.
Match Me examined the effectiveness of allocations and lettings practice for accessible and adapted social housing in Scotland. The study collected new evidence from an in-depth examination of three local authority areas, hearing the experiences of disabled people over an extended period. It sought to understand the approaches of housing providers and engage them in discussions about their practice and the experiences of applicants and tenants. A co-production approach involved disabled people throughout the study.
The key findings include:
- despite efforts of housing providers, there remains some distance between landlord goals and applicant experiences; with considerable physical and mental harm caused by extended periods of living in inappropriate housing
- allocations policies and choice-based lettings schemes remain complex and often difficult for disabled people to understand
- the complexity of disabled people’s housing needs means that the matching process for suitable adapted or accessible housing is also complex: there is often a need for individualised solutions
- potential practice improvements include making better use of technology, improving quality of data held on properties and on the specific needs of applicants; flexibility in lettings practice).
- while adaptations can make some of our older housing stock more liveable for some disabled people, newly built accessible housing offers much more potential to appropriately meet complex mobility and other impairment related housing needs.
From a robust evidence base, the final report offers practical and policy recommendations to RSLs, local authorities, Scottish Government and the Scottish Housing Regulator linked to housing allocations, adaptations, design and new supply.
Read or download Matching up: Executive Summary
Read or download Matching up: Full report