Number of people with disabilities and medical conditions on housing waiting list rises by almost 11,000 in two years

The number of people with disabilities and medical conditions on the housing waiting list in England has risen by almost 11,000 in two years, ITV News can reveal.

The Department for Housing figures, uncovered by ITV News, show 119,621 disabled people or people with a medical condition were left waiting for an accessible home by their local authority in 2018/19, a rise of more than 10% since 2016/17.

That's despite the overall number of people on the social housing waiting list, which includes people without disabilities, increasing by just 0.02% in the same period.

The figures have prompted the Housing Minister to look into whether the law needs to change to ensure more new homes meet minimum accessibility standards.

The housing charity Habinteg says the data shows "a crisis" for disabled people in their ability to access suitable housing.

  • People with disabilities or medical/welfare needs waiting for a home:

Daniel Slade is 49 but for the past fifteen months he's been living in a single room in a nursing home because Northamptonshire County Council have been unable to find him an accessible property.

A heart aneurysm left him unable to walk, but he is able to live independently.

"It's a prison sentence without a court appearance, it's that simple," he said.

"I was brought here, I didn't want to be in a nursing home. I'm 49-years-old living with 80 and 90-year-olds that are dying on a daily basis.

"I thought the aneurysm, the recovery from that, the period of time I was in a coma and when I came around - I thought that was bad - and then you get placed in a nursing home. For mental health and for lifestyle, it's a prison cell."

Northamptonshire County Council declined our request for a statement.

"There are not enough homes being built for everyone in society," Sheron Carter, CEO Habinteg said.

"One in five people within our population has a disability and the ageing population is growing, so it's a crisis that is just continuing and continuing to develop unless the government does something about it."

The Department for Housing, Communities and Local Government told ITV News: “Every building should be accessible for disabled people and we expect councils to ensure there is sufficient accessible social housing available for local people.

“We will be consulting shortly on raising minimum standards for accessible housing for all new homes and since 2012 we have invested more than £2.7bn to fund 280,000 adaptations to existing homes."

But speaking to ITV News, the Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said he'd look into whether the law needed to change to ensure new homes being built meet the standards required for disabled people to have better access.