Conference will address ‘unacceptable’ housing conditions


Many disabled people in Scotland are living in “completely unacceptable” housing conditions, according to a new report.

The report’s findings are set to be discussed at a “ground-breaking” conference on the housing problems faced by disabled people, to be held on 28 February in Edinburgh.

The conference will be hosted by Capability Scotland and Glasgow Centre for Inclusive Living (GCIL) as part of a partnership with the Scottish government which aims to push for urgent housing improvements for disabled people.

The report, Disabled People’s Experience of Accessing Housing, includes the views of disabled people who attended seven consultation events between August and October 2010.

Their concerns included the shortage of accessible social housing, the high level of homelessness among those with mental health conditions, and the struggle to secure aids and adaptations.

Others raised the difficulty of obtaining mortgages, the lack of clear and easily available information on housing rights, and a shortage of advocacy services, while many had experienced disability hate crime and harassment.

The conference will also discuss the findings of a survey carried out by Capability Scotland.

Three-fifths of those questioned in the poll did not believe disabled people had the same choice of housing as non-disabled people, while a fifth of respondents were unable to access every part of their own home.

Grant Carson, GCIL’s director of housing and employment services, said government surveys and independent research had identified a need for 230,000 properties suitable for disabled people across Scotland.

Research had also shown that 62,000 Scottish households needed adapted baths or showers and another 8,000 homes needed a ramp, he said.

Carson added: “Without a suitable house it can be impossible for disabled people to access employment, education or even social and recreational opportunities.

“The challenge we now face is to deliver more but with less, to find innovative solutions that provide disabled people with equality of housing opportunity.”

29 December 2010

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