Extra 20,000 new or improved homes for disabled people

An additional 20,000 new and improved homes for people with
disabilities are planned, social justice minister Jackie Baillie
has announced.

Baillie was speaking at a seminar in Edinburgh to launch a new
advice leaflet, ‘Home Truths’, published by Ownership Options, a
user-led charity aiming to create equal access to the owner
occupied sector for people with disabilities. The leaflet recounts
the experiences of people with disabilities in trying to access
appropriate housing, and how their problems were resolved through
ownership solutions.

Baillie said that the new Housing (Scotland) Act will improve
housing opportunities for people with disabilities. As well as
aiming to provide an additional 20,000 homes over the next three
years, local authorities will be given new duties to devise housing
strategies for their areas. Building Regulations have been amended
to require all new and converted dwellings to have a variety of
features facilitating access for people with disabilities.

Baillie said: “Over time, all these measures – and many
more – will mean improvements to the overall housing stock.
Disabled people will have increased choice, and be able to live in
the community where they want and in the tenure they choose.”

Pete Ritchie, policy officer of Ownership Options, welcomed the
executive’s stance but urged: “It’s time for the
mainstream housing system to get its act together. The 100,000
disabled people in Scotland who live in unsuitable housing are
ready to move.”

‘Home Truths’ from Ownership Options on 0131 661 3400.

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