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Inquiry into housing for disabled people

On 14 December 2016 the Commission launched a formal inquiry on housing for disabled people. We are looking at whether the availability of accessible and adaptable housing, and the support services around it, is fulfilling disabled people’s rights to live independently. Our inquiry covers England, Scotland and Wales.

We aim to publish our report and findings by early 2018.

What is an inquiry?

The Commission has a legal power, under section 16 of the Equality Act 2006, to conduct an inquiry into anything relating to its equality and human rights duties. This helps us to collect evidence to gain a clear picture of a particular sector or issue, where we feel there is a benefit to wider society. We can then use our findings to make recommendations.

What is the problem?

Housing and associated support is an important part of independent living. Without appropriate housing it is much harder to access employment, education, leisure and recreational opportunities and the risk of illness and disability is increased.

According to one housing report, there are 1.8 million disabled people whose housing needs are not met. Another report estimated that there is only enough funding to pay for one in every ten people who want to adapt their homes.

Tenancy support and advice, such as help with budgeting, can help to make sure people are able to stay in their rented home and are not forced to leave. These services are particularly important for some groups, such as people with learning disabilities. There is a worry that less funding may mean these services are taken away. There is also a worry that not enough accessible or adaptable houses are being built to meet the needs of disabled people.


What is the inquiry looking at?

Full details of what the inquiry will cover can be found in the terms of reference, which you can download below.

Or watch the British Sign Language (BSL) video.

The call for evidence ended on 17 May 2017.

Advice on individual cases

We can only help with individual cases in exceptional circumstances, and not as part of the inquiry. If you need advice or help with your personal situation you should contact an advice agency. For further information see help and advice, below.

When will the inquiry end?

We aim to publish our report and findings by early 2018.

Contact details

For further information please email the housing inquiry team.

Help and advice

If you need advice or help with your personal situation please contact one of the following agencies.

There are around 120 local Disability Information and Advice Line services (DIALs) throughout Great Britain run by and for disabled people. To find out if there is a DIAL that covers your area: Telephone: 0808 800 3333

You can also find out online on the Scope website.

The Citizens Advice service aims to help people resolve their legal, money and other problems by providing free, independent and confidential advice.

Contact Citizens Advice or find a Citizens Advice bureau in Scotland.

The Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS) is an advice service aimed at individuals who need expert information, advice and support on discrimination and human rights issues. Find out more and contact EASS

The Disability Rights UK fact sheet includes further useful information and contacts.

Last updated: 04 Sep 2017