Disabled homelessness surges
According to the Independent, the number of ill and disabled people becoming homeless surged by 53% in 2019 as local councils found themslelves increasingly unable to provide them with support. According to Government data, councils across the UK reported a 14 per cent rise in households which have at least one resident classed as suffering physical ill health or disability presenting as homeless.
The Homelessness Reduction Act was implemented in April 2018 and placed new duties on housing authorities to intervene earlier to prevent or relieve homelessness. But campaigners say councils were too often unable to fulfil this duty due to a lack of resources, as well as benefit changes, rent increases and the nationwide shortage of social housing.
The figures overall showed that the number of households found in priority need for housing – meaning they are vulnerable due to reasons such as ill health or disability, pregnancy or being under the threat of violence – rose by 16%.
Jon Sparkes, chief executive of Crisis, called for an increase in council funding to support vulnerable homeless people, saying: “This steep increase shows not only the scale of people requiring help, but the challenges that people already face, on top of having no place to call home.
Government stats on disabled home ownership
According to the Office of National Statistics, one quarter (24.7%) of disabled people in 2019 rented social housing, three times the number of non-disabled people.
Disabled people aged 16 to 64 years with severe or specific learning difficulties were the least likely to own their own home (of all main impairment types), with just 4.1% owning their own home, compared with 42.4% of disabled people overall in that age group.