Accessible housing for disabled homeseekers
Our Accessible NOW channel makes it easier for disabled homeseekers to find social housing. Aiming to provide all wheelchair accessible properties in one place, this unique channel was designed with wheelchair users in mind.
This portal is being developed in partnership with the biggest social housing provider of wheelchair accessible homes, Habinteg Housing Association. It was designed with a panel of specialists and end users to offer extended descriptions of accessibility attributes, video tours and much more! Habinteg has over 50 years experience delivering and championing inclusive homes.
Developing a national accessible housing channel
In June 2020, we have set up an expert steering group involving wheelchair users to help improve our property adverts. Our priority was to understand their needs when searching for an accessible home, so that we can reflect it online.
Since then, we have been working with housing providers and local authorities to trailblaze this channel as part of the pilot.
We have also received guidance from a housing occupational therapist to create a checklist for surveyors and housing officers. This checklist helps housing providers to collect essential information once wheelchair properties become available.
Did you know that 400,000 disabled homeseekers in England alone say their home is not suitable for their needs?
Housing Made for Everyone (HoME) is a coalition of ten organisations calling for urgent action to tackle the UK’s acute and growing shortage of accessible homes. All members have signed up to a shared vision and charter to review society’s approach to housing. Their goal is to ensure all new housing is built to be suitable for the changing needs of UK's ageing population and disabled people. Find out more about this Habinteg's initiative.
What information is most important for a wheelchair user seeking accessible housing?
A survey by Habinteg revealed a list of essential information wheelchair users need to know when trying to find suitable housing:
- Property access from the street
- Information about any internal stairs and steps
- Exact layout and dimensions of all rooms, including location of window and doors
- Major adaptations and door opening/hallways widths
- Photo of exterior and interior of property, including front and rear access
- Transport links and details of the local area
- Parking availability