Why is there no adequate accessible housing for our graduates? Landlords, we need your help, we are failing our disabled youth and you can help!?
What could be more exciting for a young person of 25 who has successfully completed a undergraduate degree in Linguistics and finalising a Postgraduate degree in Politics and Communication, than to be looking forward to starting the job, already offered, in the summer? And yet, one of our client’s now finds himself facing an obstacle. Matt is not the first to come to us and we’re sure, unfortunately, that he won’t be the last. The opportunity to succeed is not something many can take for granted, but for people with disabilities, even the usual difficulties faced by all are magnified.
Currently living in fully accessible student accommodation in Holborn, our client is looking for a new home for September, so he can begin working. As he is currently in central London and will be working in Westminster, he’s wants to be close, so of course, like many others, is limited by budget and location. But, unlike many others, his need for a home is not about preference and choice. It is about necessity.
He needs wheelchair accessibility, adequate turning circle for the chair; level floors and access to the building; wet room and shower; a separate room for a carer; space for the wheelchair storage; remotely operated doors – he cannot turn a key in a lock; proximity to amenities; work and travel facilities.
House sharing, sofa surfing, living in one room are not options for most wheelchair users. Our client has overcome so many barriers, completed his education, secured himself a job and is now facing the reality of the lack of accessible housing.
Just to put things in perspective, getting into Uni as a person with disabilities is a major achievement in itself. Sadly, statistics show that higher education and access to university is still not a level playing field. Diversity is still an aspiration rather than a working reality.
When it comes to address inequality due to disabilities, it is well recognised that the existing provisions are woefully inadequate and there still so much to do to change this.
Having worked beyond these statistics and become a high achiever with a first degree and post graduate degree, and despite the pandemic, got himself a job, our client is now facing the further challenge of finding somewhere he can live. He has approached the Local Authority without any success so far. We are conducting a search for him of all properties that match his accessibility needs and we know that this is going to be a tough search.
Our mission is to make a difference by tackling inequality in the housing market and we are known as ‘The Accessibility Specialists’ and have been tackling these issues since 2015. Clients come to us in desperation having unsuccessfully searched for accessible housing, sometimes for years!
Our experience over the past six years has shown us that, put simply, there is not enough accessible stock available. This is why we are putting out an urgent appeal to all Landlords, to help out with this situation. Not only for Matt but for all those disabled graduates who will be needing accessible properties in September.
Do you have a ground floor, two bed property that could work to ensure independence for a wheelchair user? When we are lucky with the property find, we can add ramps to front door, or as long as there is a large enough bathroom and large bedroom, we can work with that to create a suitable wet room and facilities.
Some people ask, is accessible housing an urban myth? Seems like it is, but it certainly shouldn’t be. Not in 2021! We are failing our disabled youth (not to mention all disabled people) and we need to change this by providing more accessible properties.
Please let us know what properties you have that could work. We can adapt them, work with the landlord, the tenant – whatever it takes.
We have lists of clients who need accessible properties and we also work with Local Authorities and other social housing providers – so if you have any such properties out there you think could work, please get in touch.
Either at firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 3475 4022 or by sending us a message via www.branchproperties.co.uk –
Can you help Matt and others like him on our waiting list, please?