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Disabled people are being denied the basic right to independent living with the support they need. Scope, the large...
Disabled people are being denied the basic right to independent living with the support they need. Scope, the largest disability charity in the UK, is calling on central government to review current housing legislation and instigate greater cross-departmental working as a matter of urgency.

'More Scope for Fair Housing' is supported by The Housing Corporation and Tai Cymru. It highlights examples of good practice in England and Wales where disabled people have managed to obtain accessible housing and the support they require for independent living in the community. The small pockets of good practice exist despite the inflexibility of the current system.

A severe shortage of suitable accessible housing stock, coupled with the lack of cross-departmental working means that disabled adults and families including disabled children are often forced to live in inappropriate accommodation and cannot access the most basic support they need.

Knock on effects include social exclusion, dependency, lost employment and training opportunities for disabled people and their families. The research found that an accessible environment is just as important a part of independent living and recommends that this becomes the norm. One tenant lived on a local authority estate said she had to leave her wheelchair outside her front door because she was unable to wheel it into her home.

The report found that the common factor in examples of good practice is joint working between housing, health and social service departments. Central government needs to take the lead in clarifying roles over joint working and simplifying funding mechanisms.

The lack of flexibility in the system more often than not makes it impossible to recognise disabled people as individuals with ongoing changing needs for housing and support. For disabled people to participate in the government's new deal they must be in a position to offer flexibility themselves.


The report is part of a major three year project by Scope, looking at the provision of accessible housing for younger disabled people. 200 interviews were carried out disabled people living in supported housing, and where appropriate, relatives, carers, the housing providers, support providers, care agencies, advocacy groups and other agencies involved. Sixteen principles of good practice are drawn from the research.

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