photo credit: lonely radio via photopin cc

A lack of suitable housing is “severely limiting” disabled people’s independence and in some cases trapping them in homes that do no not suit their needs, a leading disability charity has warned.

This “hidden housing crisis” is damaging disabled people’s physical and mental wellbeing, with hundreds of thousands living in unsuitable homes and unable to find a property that meets their requirements.

Research by Leonard Cheshire Disability found that almost two-three disabled adults (68%) do not have a bathroom large enough to fit a wheelchair, while 51% said their kitchen isn’t large enough.

More than seven in ten disabled people (73%) surveyed by the charity said they did not have light switches, electrical outlets, thermostats and other environmental controls that could be operated from a sitting position.

Overall, 41% of disabled adults with mobility impairments who have experienced difficulty finding accessible homes, said this has had a negative impact on their physical and mental health.

The research follows a report published by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) last month, which revealed 365,000 disabled people are living in inaccessible homes.

photo credit: dominikgolenia via photopin cc

Neil Heslop, CEO of Leonard Cheshire, said: “Nobody should be made to feel trapped and hopeless within their own home.

“Disabled people have been largely forgotten in the housing priorities of local and national government.

“This must change given the dire consequences this is clearly having on people’s lives. Often only relatively small adaptations can make a huge difference.

“Government and local authorities must wake up to the housing crisis disabled people are facing, and ensure there is proper provision of homes that meet their needs.”