The Accessible Housing Crisis

The Accessible Housing Crisis

This week is Carer’s Week, and we at Branch Properties Accessibility Specialists made a pledge that we would up our campaign to raise awareness of the housing crisis for vulnerable people and those with disabilities.

The property boom continues!

Image of home with a key
Image of home with a key

With so much in the news about the boom in the residential property and the Stamp Duty Tax holiday that you might still have time to enjoy, we wondered what impact this was going have on the availability of #affordable, #inclusive, #accessible housing.

There are schemes directed at Shared Ownership. There is a new package for 35% – 50% reduction in purchase price as part of building projects in certain areas available for key workers and others within set groups and Banks are announcing high levels of lending to the buy-to-let sector. All this sounds promising for many, and we could be forgiven for hoping that there are, or soon will be enough properties out there to meet everyone’s needs.

 

 

Is the optimism in the housing market benefiting everyone? Young-woman-in-wheelchair-staring-out

Sadly, this is still not the case. From our current experience, this optimism in the housing market is not benefiting anyone unable to raise the deposits. Not being able to function in the workplace is something that particularly affects people with disabilities simply because society is still not geared towards inclusivity. People with disabilities also face particular challenges around travel to work, and this can be a serious limitation in securing safe and suitable housing.

Another factor is that people with disabilities often need live-in carers. By way of example, we have a client who is fortunate enough to have a family who are willing and able to continue to give him the care he needs as he moves into his adult life. His main carer is his brother who is married and has two children and one on the way. His mother is also part of his support network, as is his other sibling. This means the family need a home that can accommodate three family units. In reality this translates into a large house with a minimum of five bedrooms.

How available are large houses for large families and carers? 

Whilst there are landlords with properties big enough to accommodate 10 people (3 of whom are children), we have encountered a resistance to letting to such a high number of occupants who do not form a traditional family, even though that family is united in providing the best care for their loved one.

What does our client need?

Our clients need to move out of their house for a minimum of six months as there are going to be some major works, modifications and adaptions being completed, to make the house suitable for our clients need.  So, for the last five months we have been looking for a five/six-bedroom property with a ground floor bathroom (or at least WC) and bedroom in Forest Hill and surrounding areas.

To date, we have not found a landlord who will accept the larger family, or their time scales required.

We are sure there must be a landlord/landlady who has a property that would meet this client’s needs to have his carers living with him? Please contact us if you think you can help us with our search for our client, for a suitable home, whilst his forever home is being created! Equally, do let us know if you have any comments, suggestions or queries.

Lady in a wheelchair with carer
Lady in a wheelchair with carer

Please contact us on 020 3475 4022, info@branchproperties.co.uk or www.branchproperties.co.uk

For more information about Shared ownership go to https://www.gov.uk/affordable-home-ownership-schemes/shared-ownership-scheme

For more information about the Government’s First Homes Initiative visit

https://www.theguardian.com/money/2021/jun/04/first-time-buyers-in-england-offered-new-homes-at-up-to-50-off

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