The Still Minding The Step? report provides further evidence of what disabled people have been saying for the last 20 years.
There can be no doubt: there is simply not enough wheelchair accessible housing being built in Scotland to adequately meet disabled people’s housing needs now and into the future.
The truth is we know very well what the problem is – the research tells us it’s going to get worse Significant numbers of wheelchair users are currently living in homes across Scotland where they cannot wash themselves, use the toilet or get in and out of the house without support.
This is an intolerable situation and a blatant abuse of their human rights.
The failure to build, adapt and allocate accessible homes deprives disabled people and their families of their privacy, autonomy and freedom, puts needless strain on carers, and generates avoidable costs for health and social care services.
It prevents disabled people’s full contribution to society and their participation in the economic and social life of their communities.
Why no action?
The truth is we know very well what the problem is. The research tells us it’s going to get worse.
We know what it costs our society in terms of missing out on the resources and contributions disabled people could otherwise make and in creating additional costs for already cash-strapped services.
So why are we still debating this? What will it take to get action to address this?
Along with Horizon Housing Association, Inclusion Scotland calls on the Scottish Government to set a national minimum target for the provision of wheelchair accessible housing across tenure and back up their commitment to making Scotland fairer for disabled people with action to ensure an adequate supply of suitable homes across Scotland.
Local target setting alone is not going to solve the current under-supply and the projected future need for wheelchair accessible homes across Scotland.
In fact, at present, only 11 per cent of local authorities have set any form of target to ensure the provision of wheelchair accessible housing.
So no more delay and no more excuses. We need action and we need it now.
The author is chief executive of Inclusion Scotland
Source: i News