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BBC Radio 4 turns to Habinteg for expert opinion on accessible housing

Habinteg’s Communications team's hard work to establish Habinteg as the go-to accessible housing expert is paying off with BBC Radio 4 asking us to contribute to its documentary series, My Name Is.

The March 7th edition of the programme follows Sam, 23 – an employed graduate from Bristol who has Duchenne muscular dystrophy & lives in temporary council housing - as he investigates why he’s unable to find a permanent, accessible home.

Sam's muscular dystrophy means he needs a home able to cater to his needs and house a live-in carer. The programme captures Sam’s almost palpable anxiety of not knowing whether he will soon be homeless or not.

"I want to live as full an independent a life as I can,” he says. “But it’s very challenging - especially when some of the most important things in life, such as a suitable home, are very hard to come by.”

Presenting My Name Is Samfor BBC Radio 4, Sam talks to private landlords, carers, Bristol City Council, Shelter, the National Residential Landlords Association, the Homebuilders Federation and Habinteg to find answers.

Habinteg’s input

Our Interim Director of Strategy and External Affairs, Christina McGill, made a significant contribution to the programme, providing several minutes of audio during an interview with Sam.

During her interview, Christina tells Sam: "We've got the oldest housing stock in Europe in this country and our social care and health service is under strain. Trying to create the connection between more inclusively designed and adaptable designed housing, and benefits to those systems, is really important.”

She adds: "When new tenants first come to Habinteg and get an accessible home for the first time we very often hear them talking about what an impact it has on their wellbeing and their mental health, the ability to do daily tasks with some independence and dignity in the home has an absolutely profound impact on people's sense of self-worth and how they spend their life.

"We also know that disabled people who have their accessibility needs met at home are four times more likely to be in work, if they're of working age, than those disabled people who don't. And that's quite a profound difference."

Poor response from government

Sam reveals that he asked to speak with a Minister as part of the programme: "But I was told no one from the government will speak on this issue until the results of their consultation (into raising the accessibility standards of new housing in England) is published,” he said: “And there is no date set for that. It could be the end of this year before we hear anything.

"You might think that for people who have been waiting forever to find a suitable home that another year or so doesn’t matter, but for those of us having to put up with unsuitable homes or temporary accommodation, this can feel like far longer.

"I think this is a poor response from the government on an issue affecting those living with disabilities, and the people who love and care for us."

Visit https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m001546r to listen to the full recording of My Name Is Sam.

Work for us

A group of Habinteg staff celebrate #ForAccessibleHomes. The staff are holding a banner that says

Working at Habinteg

We believe that mutual commitment and shared responsibility is key. We are an equal opportunities employer and aim to be an employer of choice. Everything we do is underpinned by our four cultural values: Agile, Accountable, Ambitious and Attentive.

We offer a comprehensive and person-centred employment package to our staff. This includes:

  • Flexible approach to working week including full-time, part-time and job-sharing possibilities.
  • Welcoming, accessible work environments including remote working
  • Training and development programme
  • Ethical pension scheme from the Pensions Trust.
  • Life assurance scheme
  • Eye test
  • Cycle scheme
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Being open and honest about our performance is an essential part of our culture. This is why we place importance on independent assessment of our organisation as an employer. We are proud to hold a Gold Standard Investors in People accreditation.

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