A new report has revealed that around 300,000 disabled people are living in accommodation that does not meet their needs.
A report published by charity Leonard Cheshire Disability has accused the government and housing developers of failing disabled people.
In ‘No Place Like Home’, the charity called for the government to ensure all housing developers build new homes that are easy to adapt if a resident becomes disabled. It also called for 10 per cent of large development to be fully wheelchair accessible.
Chief Executive Clare Pelham said: “While most of us will spend Christmas day visiting friends and family and sharing food with our loved ones, thousands of disabled people will be unable to get in the door to visit the people they love.
“Even worse, many face the reality of having to wash in the same kitchen sinks where they peel their brussel sprouts because they can’t get upstairs to their bathrooms, or having to use commodes in the same dining rooms where they ate their Christmas lunch.
“Councillors need to show some understanding about what this feels like – and take steps to ensure houses in their area are suitable for all the people who live there, including disabled people.”
The figures were gathered via freedom of information requests sent to 305 councils. A total of 151 authorities responded, stating they had a total of 162,910 disabled people on housing waiting lists. If these results are extrapolated across the country it would mean over 300,000 disabled people are waiting for suitable homes.
Additionally, 84 per cent of councils had no information on wheelchair-accessible housing. This has led to some people with disabilities languishing in unsuitable accommodation.
The Local Government Association, which represents councils across England, said local authorities were doing what they could given the huge demand placed upon them.
A spokesman said: “Councils need to be able to build and provide more social housing as well as the infrastructure we need.
“They desperately want to build new homes and do more to support accessible and adaptable homes, but are hampered in work to build new homes by centrally set Treasury restrictions on investment in housing.”
Communities Minister Stephen Williams said: “The government is introducing new building regulations to help ensure many more disabled friendly homes are built to high standards of accessibility.
“This includes the first ever building regulation for fully wheelchair accessible housing, along with an intermediate standard similar to lifetime homes.”