Disabled children may have "worst housing" in Britain

Disabled childrens charity Every Disabled Child Matters (EDCM) have called for urgent action as evidence shows housing crisis facing families with disabled children. Research published by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) highlights that fewer than half of disabled children live in housing suitable to their needs - a lower proportion than for any other age group of disabled people.  

Lack of space was the biggest single concern for these families, who are 50% more likely to be overcrowded than other families. Although this challenges the stereotypical view that families only need access, disabled children fare badly on these grounds too.  In addition, families with disabled children are more likely than other families to report problems with their homes on every indicator of housing condition, except the presence of central heating.

Srabani Sen, EDCM Campaign Board Member and Chief Executive of Contact a Family says:

“Families with disabled children are amongst the most vulnerable in this country.  Yet too many families are not getting the financial and practical support they need to adapt their homes and are forced to live in overcrowded and unsuitable properties.

EDCM welcomes the government’s new focus on disabled children through the Aiming High for Disabled Children programme. However, at the moment, the housing needs of our families are ignored in the policy debate. Our new briefing calls on all levels of government and social housing providers to prioritise the housing needs of families with disabled children.”


Julia Unwin, Director of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, comments:

“JRF evidence, accumulated over a number of years, has shown that the housing needs of these families are all too often neglected.  Families with disabled children are disproportionately exposed to housing problems, and their poor housing circumstances have an impact on the whole family.”

To end the housing crisis for families with disabled children, EDCM has called for the following actions:

- Government Offices to ensure that all English regions are considering the housing needs of families with disabled children in their housing strategies.
- DCLG to amend the ‘bedroom standard’ to reflect the need for all disabled children to have a separate bedroom from other children in their household.
- DCSF to issue guidance remindingchildren’s services departments of their existing legal duty to fund adaptations.

The EDCM will be sending the briefing to government Ministers and housing leads for the opposition parties, and campaign supporters will be lobbying their MPs to raise the issue with Ministers.

The new EDCM campaign briefing,‘Disabled Children and Housing’, is available at www.edcm.org.uk/housing 


Posted by Asif Yusuf

Publisher of Diversity Link


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