Signposting - Are You Looking for Housing Advocacy?

In the UK, there is a conspicuous absence of Housing Advocacy Services for people with disabilities. Whilst this is likely to be a funding issue, we're a little cynical that Government don't want to fund such a service, because as they're consistently avoiding mandating any new build homes to a M4(3) wheelchair accessible homes, a housing advocacy service could only help by holding Local Authorities to the legal obligations for housing provision - which would pose a serious threat to services which are already overwhelmed. 

That said, if you're in Scotland then Housing Options Scotland is a great organisation, that helps disabled people, older adults and members of the Armed Forces community to find the right home in the right place.

Meanwhile, here are alternative routes to consider:

  1. Home Ownership for People with Long Term Disabilities: too few people know about this government backed Help to Buy scheme. If you are eligible and can raise the funds for a deposit, then the HOLD scheme can offer you housing security and autonomy for how you want to live in your home.

  2. If you're military or ex-military, there's actually quite a bit of help for you and, I'd argue, more than for civilians. First ports of call are your Regimental Welfare Officer and Haig Housing. You have to ask for help. Even if it's 80 years since you were "in" you're still entitled to help. The number of ex-mil I speak to, who somehow believe they aren't entitled or who have an issue asking for help via military channels, is of concern.
    >> If you've had a service number, there is really good quality help available to you. End of. Use it.

  3. Read our Tenants Search Guide for Accessible Housing.

  4. If you're looking for Disability Grants, search the Disability Grants website to help you find the right grant. Charities and Trusts provide funding towards the high cost of disability equipment, holidays, housing, days out. In fact, anything above and beyond the normal costs of everyday living.

  5. If you're looking for social housing, have you checked out the new accessibility search filter on Homefinder UK

  6. Speak directly to developers and corporate PRS landlords, rather than their sales negotiators - who often don't have any knowledge of accessible housing. Asking about what M4(3) properties they are building, and how you can access them, can take you down a more tailored route. One caller used this information to buy into a local development, with an Occupational Therapist from the Local Authority dealing directly with the developer on his behalf to ensure the property was fitted out to meet his needs.

  7. If you have a Spinal Injury, have a look at Aspire's Vacant Properties page (which includes upcoming vacancies). However, note that Aspire can only take people with spinal cord injuries who have a clear 'exit plan' as their properties are only for short-term use whilst permanent accommodation is arranged, whether that's through social housing, private purchase, adapting and existing property, etc..