Every September, we run a week of action - Accessible Homes Week - to celebrate what an accessible home can do for a person's wellbeing, independence and overall quality of life.
To mark what was our eighth annual week (from 4-8 September 2023) we commissioned the London School of Economics to undertake research to demonstrate the economic and social value of wheelchair user homes to society.
Our summary report - Living not existing:The economic and social value of wheechair user homes - reveals that building more wheelchair user homes for disabled people, from children to adults over 66, could save the public purse millions over a 10 year period.
It also reveals that the additional cost of building a wheelchair user home – instead of an accessible & adaptable home - for a typical disabled adult of working age is around £22,000, with the potential ten-year financial and social benefit to the individual and the public purse being around £94,000.
For a household with a child who is a wheelchair user, the ten-year economic and social benefit is around £66,000, with an additional cost of around £26,000 to build a new wheelchair user home.
For a typical older wheelchair user household, the ten-year financial and social benefit is around £101,000, with a new wheelchair user home costing around an additional £18,000.
Sign our petition
To close the week, Habinteg launched a petition calling on the UK Government to act to ensure that housing for wheelchair users is integrated into local housing plans.
Our aim is for this petition to reach 100,000 signatures, so that it will be considered for debate in Parliament. For that to happen, we need you to sign it, share it across your social media networks, and tell friends and family about it.
As our Insight Group member and wheelchair user Kim Smith says: “You never know if you might need an accessible home in the future, I didn't know I would, but the future's coming, and we all need this petition to be signed... we all need it for the future. It might not be for you, it might be for your children, grand-children or great grand-children.”
Homes for everyone
With just 9% of the housing stock in England having basic access features, we know that too many disabled and older people are living in unsuitable housing, which can impact on their ability to live independently.
This is why inclusive, accessible homes are a must for everyone - they allow us to use our homes throughout our whole lives, even when our needs change.
In order to make sure that there are enough accessible homes for everyone who needs them, the Government, local authorities, planners, developers and communities all have their part to play to address the shortage of accessible homes.
And so do you.
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