Still Minding the Step?

Over 17,200 wheelchair users in Scotland do not have a suitable home and this unmet need is set to increase by 80% by 2024.

These are the headline findings of “Still minding the step? A new estimation of housing need among wheelchair users in Scotland”, published by Horizon Housing Association and North Star Consulting and Research and endorsed by the Chartered Institute of Housing in Scotland.

The report estimates that there are 87,340 wheelchair users in Scotland (3.6% of all households). Of these, one in four indoor wheelchair users say their home is not suitable for their needs. It also estimates that 17,226 wheelchair user households across Scotland are in significant housing need (19.1% of all wheelchair user households).

The report also projects a sharp rise in the number of wheelchair users by 2024/25 based on current health trends. It highlights the diversity of circumstances of wheelchair users and makes recommendations for a three tier approach to addressing need, which it says should include the design and supply of new homes, adaptations and effective allocation of adapted rented housing.

The publication suggests how local authorities can better assess housing need among wheelchair users in their area, and recommends that Scottish Government set a national guideline target that 10% of new homes are built to wheelchair accessible standards.