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Disabled people and housing

Disabled people and housing: Choices, opportunities and barriers

Laura Hemingway
Copyright Date: 2011
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  • Book Info
    Disabled people and housing
    Book Description:

    This book provides a comprehensive investigation of housing issues for disabled people from a social model perspective. Documenting historical and current trends, it looks at policy, barriers to housing options and meanings of 'home'. Such a review is crucial to understanding the varying housing needs and desires of disabled people, particularly in the current economic climate. The book is a practical resource for housing policy makers and practitioners, and will be of interest to academics and students in the field.

    eISBN: 978-1-84742-807-3
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgements
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-18)

    This book examines housing issues, policies and practices relating to disabled people, and explores available choices, opportunities and barriers in the field. The focus is on disabled people’s acquisition of, oraccessto, accommodation, and how individualsexperiencehousing. We will see how housing options and pathways can be constrained, conditioned and assisted by a range of actors, institutions and practices. With regard to disabled people’s experiences, the book will show how housing can be a place of independence, control and security, or (if inaccessible or unsuitable) how it can restrict an individual and their family, leading to dependency and...

  5. TWO Housing policy and disabled people: from past to present
    (pp. 19-50)

    Housing for disabled people has historically been provided via a variety of institutional forms of accommodation. Since the 1960s, however, coinciding with the emergence of the American Independent Living Movement (ILM), it has been argued that if inclusion and ‘independent living’ are to be achieved, disabled people must have the right to self-managed accessible housing. There have been several pieces of legislation that have had an impact on housing rights, entitlements and provision for disabled people in some way, whether for home support services for everyday living, for physical needs such as adaptations, or more broadly for housing tenure options....

  6. THREE Understanding disability: from ‘personal tragedy’ to social disadvantage
    (pp. 51-66)

    There has been a shift in thinking about what constitutes ‘disability’ in recent years, from restriction arising through individual functioning and based on medical interpretations, to that which is caused by social, environmental and cultural barriers. This transition from an individual or ‘medical model’ interpretation of disability to a socio-political approach has been crucial for highlighting the constraints that disabled people encounter every day of their lives, and is hugely significant for housing policy and provision. It has been argued that housing providers and policymakers, as well as those involved in the ‘disability business’ (Albrecht, 1992), have largely been influenced...

  7. FOUR Physical and communication barriers: the built environment and access to information
    (pp. 67-98)

    The built environment plays a key role in ‘… shaping the ways in which people lead their lives’ (Imrie and Hall, 2001, p 333), yet it poses a challenge for many disabled and older people in both public and private spheres, segregating, excluding and restricting movement. The design of buildings, public amenities and streets; the presentation and positioning of signs; and the inaccessible transport system neglect to cater for diversity in the human body, creating an environment that excludes almost everyone at some point in their lives (a process some have referred to as ‘architectural disablement’; see Goldsmith, 1997). While...

  8. FIVE Financial considerations: income, affordability and risk assessment
    (pp. 99-128)

    The role that financial factors play in the housing and disability relationship is extremely significant, and yet it has been relatively overlooked in UK research. Financial issues affecting housing access and experiences can be broadly defined as including employment security and history; income (including benefits); additional costs relating to impairment, the physical dwelling and life insurance; and issues associated with risk assessment (including credit rating) in the mortgage application process. Whereas some of these factors (such as income and employment) affect access to all housing tenure, others (such as life insurance and risk assessment for housing finance) are more specific...

  9. SIX Attitudinal constraints: assumptions and institutional practices
    (pp. 129-156)

    Attitudes and assumptions held by housing providers and institutions can be just as ‘disabling’ as the physical and economic environment, and it is these that form the focus of this chapter. While the ‘disabling’ nature of attitudes in general have been discussed elsewhere in detail (Wolfensberger, 1972; Finkelstein, 1980; Barnes, 1991; Swain and Lawrence, 1994), here we consider the impact that attitudinal factors can have on disabled people’s opportunities within housing. These attitudinal considerations are taken in a broad sense to include the attitudes, assumptions and stereotypes held by a range of different ‘actors’ about disabled people and their needs,...

  10. SEVEN Creating the ‘home’ in a society of barriers
    (pp. 157-176)

    The holistic nature of the disability and housing relationship has often been overlooked in favour of prioritising physical matters, but this book has drawn attention to the many interlocking and overlapping variables that affect disabled people’s housing choices and opportunities. As we have seen, UK governments have acknowledged aspects of the housing problems facing disabled people, but there is much work still to be done. While some of these issues, such as financial constraints, may be shared by other low-income groups, there are various physical and attitudinal barriers that are distinctive to disabled people. There are also some groups who...

  11. References
    (pp. 177-203)
  12. Websites
    (pp. 203-206)
  13. Index
    (pp. 207-216)
  14. Back Matter
    (pp. 217-217)