English Housing Survey - Adaptations and Accessibility Report, 2014-15

The English Housing Survey is a national survey of people's housing circumstances and the condition and energy efficiency of housing in England. It was first run in 2008-09. Prior to then, the survey was run as two standalone surveys: the English House Condition Survey and the Survey of English Housing.

This report provides the findings from the 2014-15 survey. It covers the circumstances of households that had a person/s with a long-term limiting illness or disability that required them to have adaptations in their home, including whether these households had the adaptation they require and the suitability of their home. It also examines the overall prevalence of accessible features in the housing stock in 2014 before comparing the prevalence of such features in homes built before 2001 and from 2001 onwards when new building regulations started to have an impact.

Main findings

Around 1.9 million households in England had one or more people with a longterm limiting illness or disability that required adaptations to their home.

In 2014-15, 9% of all households in England (around 1.9 million households) had one or more people with a long-term limiting disability that required adaptations to their home. This has not changed since 2011-12 when these questions were last asked in the English Housing Survey. Despite requiring adaptations, the majority of households felt their home was suitable for their needs.

In 2014-15, 81% of households that required adaptations in their home, due to their long-term limiting disability, felt their home was suitable for their needs. The 19% (around 365,000 households) who considered their living accommodation unsuitable accounted for 2% of all households in England. Those aged under 55 and private renters were most likely to feel that their accommodation was unsuitable for their needs.

Households with a person aged under 55 who had a long-term limiting disability were more likely (32%) to state their accommodation was unsuitable than their counterparts in other age groups (24% or less). Those aged 75 and over with a long-term limiting disability were least likely to state their accommodation was unsuitable (12%). These findings had not changed since 2011-12. 2 | English Housing Survey Adaptations and Accessibility Report, 2014-15

Compared with other tenures, private renters (32%) were the most likely to feel that their accommodation was unsuitable for their needs. Around a fifth of social renters (22% of housing association tenants and 23% local authority tenants) stated their accommodation was unsuitable. Owner occupiers were the least likely to feel that their accommodation was unsuitable (15%). The most common adaptations that households needed were inside their home and relatively simple to install.

The four most common adaptations that households needed were inside their home: grab hand rail inside the dwelling (40%); a bath or shower seat or other bathing aids (30%); a specialist toilet seat (25%); a shower to replace a bath (19%). Over half of the households that required adaptations in their home already had them installed; an improvement since 2011-12.

Over half of households (55%) that required adaptations in their home already had them installed. Consequently, 45% of households lacked one or more of their required adaptations. This is an improvement since 2011-12 when 51% of households reported that they did not have their required adaptations present in their home.

The most common reasons given for why households that did not have their required adaptations had not made these modifications to their home were: that they had not had enough time to carry out the modifications (24%)1 , they could not afford to pay for them (21%) or they were not worth doing (13%).

One in ten households (10%) did not have their required adaptations because their landlord wouldn’t pay for them, while 5% said that their landlord would not allow them.

In 2014-15, one in ten households (10%) that included a person with a long-term disability requiring adaptations wanted to, or were trying to, move somewhere more suitable for their needs; unchanged from 2011-12. Less than one in ten homes in England had all four accessibility features that provide visitability to most people, including wheelchair users.

In 2014, just 7% (1.7 million) of homes in England had all four accessibility features that provide visitability: level access to the entrance, a flush threshold, sufficiently wide doorsets and circulation space, and a toilet at entrance level. Around two thirds (64%) of homes had a toilet at entrance level but the presence of the other three visitable features was less common, especially level access (18%).

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