Horizon contributes to a report into the housing needs of disabled people
Launching “Our Place: Our Space”, a report into the housing needs of disabled people, Inclusion Scotland has called for the Scottish Government to seize the opportunity presented by their plan to build 50,000 new homes, by ensuring that they are built to be fully wheelchair accessible, or easily adapted to be so.
Evidence of the scale of the problem is overwhelming. Around 14% of households in Scotland include someone who uses a wheelchair or mobility aid. However, only 0.7% of Scottish Local Authority housing stock, and 1.5% of Housing Association property, is accessible for wheelchair users. And there is no definitive information about the number of accessible or adapted houses in the Scottish private sector.
Dr Sally Witcher, Chief Executive of Inclusion Scotland said:
“Being unable to buy or rent an accessible home literally imprisons disabled people - in their own homes, in hospital, or in residential care against their will. This leads to poor heath, intolerable stress for families and the need for additional social care support.”
“The current failure to provide an adequate supply of wheelchair accessible homes in Scotland creates a ticking time bomb with significant cost implications for services, housing and support all across Scotland.”
“If we are committed to making Scotland fairer for disabled people we need to address the chronic shortage of wheelchair accessible housing immediately.
By documenting disabled people’s housing experiences, “Our Place: Our Space” exposes the myth that current design and building standards and the provision of adaptations in Scotland are meeting the housing needs of disabled people"
Julia Fitzpatrick, Managing Director of Horizon Housing Association, said "Horizon was delighted to support the Disabled People's Summit in December, contributing our experience and expertise in addressing the shortfalls in suitable homes for disabled people. We welcome this important report and look forward to taking part in discussions with disabled people and Scottish Government towards implementing its recommendations."