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Housing Statement – SCI Awareness Day 2019

Multiple research studies have demonstrated the link between housing and positive mental and physical health. The sense of security, of a ‘roof over my head’, the feelings of belonging, stability, well-being and for many people the root of their family life – all of this is linked to having a place called ‘home’.

SIA believes that every SCI person deserves, and should be able to achieve, a fulfilled life. Having a place to call home is an essential part of this, and SIA wants every SCI person to have somewhere they can call their own.

The devastating impact of a spinal cord injury (SCI) is compounded by SCI people having to be in hospital and rehabilitation facilities for months on end, away from home and loved ones and all that’s familiar and secure. And that is before they are ready to come home and navigate the challenges of home adaptations and the transition back to familiar surroundings.

Some SCI people are simply unable to return to their old home and need to move to a new house. Currently a staggering 20% of newly injured SCI people are discharged into a care home as either an interim or long-term housing ‘solution’.

SIA is calling on both national and local government to do much more to ensure disabled people, including wheelchair users, have the same opportunity to be rehoused into a home that meets their needs as non-disabled households.

A key first step is to introduce a national strategy to ensure an adequate supply of new houses built to inclusive design and wheelchair accessible standards. The lack of suitable housing stock for disabled people, including wheelchair users, simply isn’t going to improve unless far more accessible and affordable homes are built.

Dave Bracher
SIA Campaigns Manager