This has been a frustrating week searching for accessible properties for one of our wheelchair user’s client.
Firstly, as happens far too many times for our liking, we turned up at an ‘accessible property’ after going through our client’s recommendations over and over, it had two stairs up to the front door. ‘Ah ‘its only got two small steps’… Immediate fail.
Secondly, when searching for the same client, as the first trip out was unsuccessful, we have been searching through pages of potential properties, looking for a one bedroom ground floor, (or with two lifts) spacious and with a shower. Not that much of an ask you would think? Think again…
98% of the properties checked, all had baths – not showers, let alone level access showers. The 2% of those with showers have high lips, in small cramped rooms, with not enough room to swing a cat, let along turn a wheelchair…
When asking agents if any of the units in the development have showers, the reply is generally no, or ‘oh yes we have showers in the two bed and bigger properties’ well what use is that to someone needing a one bed in a wheelchair?
Developers are meant to build 10% of the build as ‘Lifetime Homes’ this means that they are reachable by lift, have wide doorways and level access showers or wet rooms. This is clearly not the case.
Come on developers, not only is it the point that these should be built in these lovely developments and that it is totally unfair to wheelchair users. But also that you really are missing a trick here!
We are hoping that we can find our client something in time for his move to London to start as a secondary school teacher, but at this rate, we are not sure. Our client has had to come up with a plan B, staying in a local hotel that is accessible, in the event we don’t find him something in time.
So yes , a very frustrating and annoying week, let’s hope next week brings some less frustrating and more positive results and outcomes.