More homes required to meet needs of people with disabilities

More homes accessible for disabled people are needed for rent and purchase, shows a report carried out by the London School of Economics and Ipsos MORI.

Charity Papworth Trust and housing association Habinteg commissioned the research that found 1.8m disabled people have unmet housing need.

Vicky McDermott, chief executive of Papworth Trust, said the report dispels the myth disabled people do not have the means or money to purchase their own home, with 56% of the 1.8m people being home owners and 39% having incomes in the top half of the income distribution.

“Building more accessible homes is a fundamental part of future-proofing the housing market, with a short-term investment and a long-term positive social impact on other services,” McDermott said.

Paul Gamble, chief executive of Habinteg, said: “This new evidence is extremely important to the growing alliance who wants to see an increasing supply of accessible housing to rent and buy.”

He said providing more homes that are accessible and affordable was essential with an ageing population.

The report Hidden Market for Accessible Homes suggests developers, government and planners do more to address the shortage of accessible homes for disabled people in the UK.

LSE and Ipsos MORI used a variety of sources for their data including the English Housing Survey, phone interviews with 40 people and a face-to-face, in-home survey with 2,074 adults across Britain in March and April.


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  1. Will

    This is part of the current problems in all housing sectors due to Government failures.

  2. Woodentop

    From one angle does this mean that new builds in the future will have a bedroom and the bathroom downstairs or only build bungalows! That is what we see as the main problem for the disabled.

  3. PeeBee

    Some interesting points coming out of this.

    Woodentop – that was mooted as the next step in housing provision requirement I seem to remember by TwoJags Prescott at the same time he came out with the utterly ridiculous £60k house idea.

    According to the document named above:

    “The interviews conducted for this research show, disabled people do not always realise the extent of their needs.”

    “Definitions of disability vary,and researchers analysing the EHS data had to approximate the relationship of the Building Regulations classifications of disability works to the EHS definitions.”

    “An estimated 20% of the adult population across Great Britain are disabled (equivalent to an estimated 10.3 million people).”

    No mention, however, as to what, exactly, definition of ‘disability’ is being used.  Funny, that.

    Back in the day – mid-’90s it was – ‘Part M’ of the Building Regulations was formulated, as was the ‘Lifetime Homes’ idea.  At the time, the requirement was deemed that 5% of new housing was to be built either with adaptions for ease of mobility (level threshes, wider doorframes [ground floor only], lower switches/higher sockets, ground floor wc), or with the capability of being adapted. This was supported by “research” which indicated that one in twenty people were “affected by disability”.  The use of the phrase ‘affected’ in this particular instance was that ‘someone in their immediate circle’ had some form of disability.

    No definition was provided at that time either as to what extent of ‘disability’ constituted a need.

    At the time I suggested that the figure be closer to 100% – pretty much everyone I could think of at that time was ‘affected by disability’ (using the widest criteria available) in some way, shape or form – and some 20 years later that hasn’t changed.

    Since then, subsequent changes to ‘Part M’ mean that ALL (with certain exceptions) new housing now has to comply with its’ current requirements.

    This subject seems – like many – to get rolled out every three or four years.  Funny how it isn’t constantly raised – the last time I checked (that would be this morning), the needs of the disabled aren’t cyclic.

    Disability affects my family – so I am certainly not coming at this from a discriminatory or argumentative perspective.

    Just a confused one.


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