A large percentage of British homes are suffering from a lack of accessibility features that they need for disabled residents, a new report from one of Britain’s leading academic institutions has revealed.
A study conducted by the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) has uncovered that approximately one in six homes that need accessibility features for disabled residents don’t have them, equating to around 300,000 addresses in the UK.
Because of the problem, LSE points to evidence that suggests disabled people in inadequate housing are vulnerable to feelings of hopelessness and isolation.
The research put the total of homes that need accessibility features at 1.8 million across the country. Of the different types of housing in the UK, the report found that the largest share of disabled people that need adaptations to their residences could be found in social housing.
Some 39% of disabled social tenants had adaptation needs which were unmet, in contrast to 9% in the demographic of private renters and 29% for owner occupiers.
But far from being a problem exclusive to the social sector, the study pointed out that 56% of the 1.8 million total of homes needing better accessibility were owned by homeowners.
According to the researchers: “Unmet needs often have a direct impact on the ability to carry out everyday tasks, on feeling helpless and dependent on the help of carers or family, and on social isolation.”
It was found that unemployment was common among those who lacked accessible housing – four times the number of Brits in this category are unemployed, compared to those in housing with sufficient accessibility features.
Much of the study was based on an analysis of data freely available in the English Housing Survey.
In conclusion, LSE called for the government and the English Housing Survey to look more closely at the problem: “If you feel isolated and are in need of suitable accommodation, or know someone who would benefit from appropriate and person specific housing, please contact one of our Housing Support Officers who can discuss your needs”