The housing needs of black and minority ethnic disabled children and their families

Author(s): Bryony Beresford;  

Briefing series: Better Housing Briefing Paper 3

Publisher: Race Equality Foundation

Publication date: May 2007

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The housing needs of black and minority ethnic disabled children and their families
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The outcomes and life chances of disabled children and their families are, to a greater or lesser extent, affected by the homes in which they live. Inaccessible public spaces and community facilities, societal attitudes, and health and care needs mean that disabled children spend more time in their homes than other children.  This briefing  argues that regardless of the nature of their child’s impairment, most black and minority ethnic families with a disabled child will be living in unsuitable housing. Although differences exist between the difficulties experienced by different ethnic groups, a lack of space is an almost universal problem, as are difficulties with making structural changes to their homes.

  • Key messages:
  • There are many ways in which housing can be unsuitable for disabled children and their families. Regardless of the nature of their child's impairment, most black and minority ethnic families with a disabled child will be living in unsuitable housing
  • There are many different ways in which a home can be unsuitable, and there are some differences between ethnic groups in terms of the sorts of difficulties they are likely to face. Bangladeshi and Pakistani families are most likely to be living in unsuitable housing and also to have multiple problems with their housing
  • A universal problem for families is a lack of space
  • Housing condition is one of the common causes of housing unsuitability
  • Difficulties with housing are experienced by families who are owner-occupiers as well as by those who rent their homes
  • In addition to experiencing difficulties with making structural changes to their homes, families from black and minority ethnic groups are also more likely to have unmet needs in terms of the equipment they require in order to make their homes suitable
  • Levels of unmet housing need suggest that most black and minority ethnic families have not been able to address their housing difficulties.

Sections:

  • The extent of the problem
  • Types of housing problems and the families who experience them
  • The issue of space
  • Housing condition
  • Tenure
  • Equipment
  • How families respond to unsuitable housing