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Fitting home adaptations

EHRC Housing Inquiry: Britain's hidden crisis?

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is right to raise the scandal of poor quality housing stock.

One in five homes in England is deemed non-decent, and only 7% of UK homes meet basic accessibility requirements. Non-decent homes are disproportionately lived in by people in later life, many of whom manage long-term health conditions and have disabilities.

It is a scandal that we don’t have sufficient accessible homes, particularly given their potential to reduce social care costs and significantly increase people’s quality of life.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is right to raise the scandal of poor quality housing stock. One in five homes in England is deemed non-decent, and only 7% of UK homes meet basic accessibility requirements. Non-decent homes are disproportionately lived in by people in later life, many of whom manage long-term health conditions and have disabilities.

Many people change their behaviour and develop coping mechanisms as they age and start to experience mobility issues while living in unsuitable housing. This can mean sleeping on the floor or sofa, limiting food and drink intake and bathing less often to limit how much people have to move around their homes.

We can do much more to adapt existing housing stock, making small changes such as installing handrails, ramps and level-access showers. We also need to make sure all new homes are 'age proof' and are made accessible and adaptable to meet the needs of current and future generations.

It is a scandal that we don’t have sufficient accessible homes, particularly given their potential to reduce social care costs and significantly increase people’s quality of life.

Housing and disabled people: Britain's hidden crisis

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Room to improve: The role of home adaptations in improving later life

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Rachael Docking
Senior Evidence Manager