How can we solve the housing crisis for disabled people?

A woman leans on a table next to a young man

Today sees the publication of a report by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), following their inquiry into the availability of housing for disabled people. It highlights a ‘housing crisis’ caused by the lack of accessible and affordable homes, delays in installing home adaptations, and a general lack of support to enable disabled people to live independently.

The impacts of this can be wide ranging and affect independence, employment, relationships, health and social care needs, and more. Many of the findings in this report echo the experiences of families we spoke to as part of the research by Sense for our When I’m Gone campaign.

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New minister, new opportunities

Two smiling women

There was a new appointment in Government last week, an important one for disabled people with complex needs.

James Brokenshire became the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government. We’re calling on him to ensure disabled people with complex needs have appropriate and timely arrangements for their future care in place, and to help provide the peace of mind that families need.

Describing himself as having “local government… in the blood”, Mr Brokenshire said he looked forward to working with councils to deliver quality public services and build strong integrated communities.

This Department is an important one for Sense as it has responsibility over local government, including reform, finances and adult social care.
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The looming crisis facing disabled people and their families

The back of two women talking on the edge of a bed

“It’s very stressful. I find myself hoping she passes away before me. No parent should feel like this.” These words were spoken by Mark, who cares for his disabled daughter, who has complex needs. Mark lives with the fear and worry that his daughter’s care and support needs are so complex, and that his local social services are under such pressures, that should he not be able to support his daughter, then no one would.

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Can applying for disability benefits be made easier?

A woman stands before a semi-circular desk with chairs around it

As someone with dual sensory loss, I was recently asked to give evidence to the Work and Pension’s Committee on applying for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Personal Independence Payment (PIP). I wanted to address the training of assessors and alternative ways of applying.

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A valued workforce or a challenge to national productivity?

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Last week, the Government announced its ambitions and plans to get one million disabled people into work over the next ten years. Sense cautiously welcomed this announcement knowing that this will only be successful if it has a meaningful and positive outcome for disabled people.  ‘Getting people in to work’ is more than just finding a job for someone; it’s about finding the right job and disabled people getting the support they need to find work and stay in work.  For this to be realised, it’s crucial that employers and job centre staff have positive attitudes and understanding of what disabled people can and want to achieve in work.

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Sense responds to Government’s disability employment announcement

A woman pushing a trolley in a pharmacy

Sense has responded to the government announcement that they plan to get one million more disabled people in work over the next ten years.

According to ONS figures, disabled people are twice as likely to be unemployed as non-disabled people. About 80% of non-disabled people are in work compared with just under 50% of disabled people.

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The Government has delivered a social care snub to disabled people

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By focussing the long awaited social care green paper on one group, older people, it will be impossible to create a truly sustainable system. The Government’s green paper should take into account the broad range of people who access social care and their differing needs in its search for a long term solution.

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More working age people need social care at a time of great pressure

A smiling woman holds the arm of a young woman as they walk through a supermarket together

The social care debate is all too often focused on ‘care for the elderly’. But the reality is that growing numbers of disabled younger people, often with very complex needs, are using social care at a time when the sector is under severe pressure.

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Having a job reduces loneliness, but finding work can be tough when you’re disabled

I was privileged to be asked to speak at the Parliamentary reception for the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness, about my own experiences of loneliness as a disabled person.

I am deafblind; I’m severely sight impaired and have a severe to profound hearing impairment. Accessing social situations and noisy busy environments can be very difficult for me. Feeling frustrated, annoyed, angry, scared or upset because I cannot access something, or go somewhere – due to the implications of my impairments – can be made worse by feelings of loneliness and social isolation.

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