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front cover lifetime home design guide

Lifetime Homes

Lifetime Homes and Disabled People

Two young females. One is a wheelchair user.Homes that people can get in and out of independently, move around in safely and easily, use facilities in their kitchens and bathrooms, 'accessible homes' in other words, are in short supply. The statistics speak for themselves:
  1. There are around 11 million people with a limiting long term illness, impairment or disability in Great Britain, based on government statistics.

  2. One in five disabled people requiring adaptations to their home believe that their accommodation is not suitable.

  3. More than 40% of disabled young people aged 16 - 24 are living in accommodation that does not meet their needs. 

  4. Most homes in England (84) do not allow a person using a wheelchair to get through the front door without difficulty.

  5. As of 2010 an estimated 78,300 wheelchair user households in England had unmet housing needs

  6. Households that include a disabled person are more likely to have homes with substantial disrepair

  7. One in three households with a disabled person still live in non-decent accommodation.

With modern medicine meaning more disabled people live long, healthy lives and more people living well into old age, the demand for accessible housing is already growing and set to continue. As a society, we need to build more homes that are fit for purpose.
Young disabled people in particular can face a very difficult transition to adulthood because of the serious lack of appropriate and suitable accommodation. Many young disabled adults continue to live in inappropriate residential accommodation against their wishes, or continue living with their parents or family. 
The Government has recognised the benefits of using the Lifetime Homes design criteria and acknowledged that improving the suitability of new build and renovated homes; for disabled people this will increase their choices and secure considerable savings in future public spending.


Survey of English Housing 2007/08
Mind the Step: An estimation of housing need among wheelchair users in England. Habinteg, 2010.
Op. cit.

English House Condition Survey 2008.