New research by Horizon into effective allocation of adapted housing

Horizon Housing Association is working in partnership with Stirling University on a pilot study for new research into the allocation of adapted social housing to disabled people.

The study, being carried out by Stirling University’s Faculty of Social Sciences, has been co-produced by a research team including disabled people and aims to get a better understanding of effectiveness in matching housing designed for wheelchair users or adapted housing, to households who need this.

The provision of adapted housing is an important feature of the measures being taken by social housing landlords to tackle the inequality experienced by disabled people in accessing suitable housing.

Horizon’s ‘Mind the Step’ research (2012) quantified this unmet need and identified a three-pronged approach to addressing the deficit of suitable homes for wheelchair users and other disabled people in Scotland - developing new homes, adaptation of existing homes, and effective allocation of wheelchair standard and adapted housing.

The study conducted by Dianne Theakstone and Isobel Anderson from Stirling University will report towards the end of August 2016.

Julia Fitzpatrick, Horizon’s managing director, said: “We often hear that allocations systems for adapted housing are not as effective as they could be. This has costs in terms of tenancy and asset management, for health and social care, as well as quality of housing and of life for disabled people. We are keen to see action research that brings together the experience and perspectives of disabled people, practitioners and policy makers to identify what works as well as changes to improve the outcomes.”

Professor Isobel Anderson, Stirling University, added: “The project contributes to our strategy of conducting ‘Research with Impact’ which benefits the potential users of research and services as well as contributing new, robust evidence on current practice. While there may be considerable anecdotal evidence of regular challenges faced by housing providers and applicants, a systematic research review revealed a lack of rigorous research which focused specifically on this important element of independent living for disabled people in Scotland.”

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