Is this discrimination? — Scope | Disability forum
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Is this discrimination?

gwills88 Community member Posts: 3 Listener
I have a disabled daughter, she is 5 years old. She had complex needs as is a full time wheelchair user. Currently we are in a home where her needs aren’t being met and her occupational therapist has ruled as unsuitable. The occupational therapist wrote a housing report that explained the requirements and relevant adaptations needed to meet the needs of her disability. We are on a bidding system scheme through our county council to bid on potential properties with the intention to adapt. We have been number 1 in the system on 7 houses over the cause of a year, all owned by Bromford Housing Association. 5 of these properties were instant rejections by Bromford as they deemed them unsuitable as they stand, in which every property isn’t going to be suitable until the relevant work is completed to meet the needs. I did raise with my local MP and medical officer at the council and it was agreed when we are considered for a property, my daughters designated Occupational Therapist had to view any to deem them suitable. I’ve had issues with communication from Bromford, being ignored and also told me bidding on houses is wasting their time as well as my own. The 6th I visited with the OT, the local authority Grants Officer, and neighbourhood coach from Bromford housing, from the viewing we all agreed it was suitable and for the potential adaptions. Our case was put to Bromfords Adaptations Team, it took between 1-2 months for a response, in which they  rejected. I requested as to why of the rejection and was told it wasn’t ‘feasible’. Some time later we were then number 1 on the 7th house, again me and the OT viewed along with the neighbourhood coach, who was the same person previously. Whilst visiting the property we agreed if it was ago ahead they’re was the relevant space to use until the work needs would be completed (from Paperwork to finish of build is estimated 2 years as advised by Grants Officer) it was a lot more space than we have now as we’re in a 2 bed property with no adaptions. They’re also was more than enough space at the back of the house for the adaptions needed, whilst we were viewing a member of the Bromford team was fitting in a kitchen explained that the good thing with the property was that in the outer building/side house they were decommissioning the toilet in that area and that the water mains needed for a wetroom/shower room were already there, decreasing potentially costs and construction. I expressed that I was happy with the viewing and agreed it was suitable. This again was put to the adaptations team at Bromford. Frustratingly again this was rejected, I asked for an appeal which is in Bromford guidelines but was told I wasn’t eligible because the rejection was down to the adaptations team. I also contact customer services to raise a complaint but again was told as I wasn’t a tenant to raise an appeal, they do not keep the properties on hold for appeal either so this property was bypassed to the next in line. The occupational therapy requested to speak to the adaptations team for a explanation as we were initially told that the rejected was due to it not being suitable. The team got back to the OT who asked for them to contact me to explain as she didn’t want to relay anything wrongly. I received a phone call on Tuesday, I spoke to a lady from the adaptations team who explained to me that it was rejected not based on any structural issues, as far as this was the house was suitable for adaptations however from the Housing Report produced by the Occupational Therapist. They said it wasn’t factual enough and assumed I would not move into a property until the adapts have been made and these should be done immediately, very confused I listened on and was also told they weren’t sure on where the funding for the work was coming from. They know the local authority would cover £30,000 of the quoted £45,000. As per legislation from Disabled Children, A legal handbook states ‘if a disabled child has an assessed need for an adaptions to a home which costs more than the maximum amount for a DFG, the law may require the shortfall to be met by the children’s services authority and/or the housing association’. The basis off which we were refused were because of this and this could of been resolved if relevant parties communicated, my daughter now has to keep suffering. If communication was used between Bromford, The council & Occupational Therapy, we still would not be in the position we are now. I feel as Bromford are people blaming for their incompetence and discrimination towards my daughter as they’ve described as ‘complex case’. Housing authorities, Children’s services and councils have the the duty to cooperate to ensure disabled children have their housing needs met. 
I’ve had issues with getting back in contact with the adaptations team as I requested a list of each house that has been rejected and a explanation to as why, and yet again I am being ignored. They bleat on their website that they are an inclusion company however I have yet to see any form of this. 

As I was writing this noticed a email from my daughter’s Occupational Therapist as a response from the adaptations team at Bromford. 

They’ve stated at the last property we were most recently declined on, they aren’t willing to cost the shortfall and that they advise us to wait for a partial adapted house or wait for a purpose built home. This is pure discrimination on my daughter and her disability as they aren’t willing to accommodate her needs at all. They have let us be considered for properties, go through the lengthy process and they knew they weren’t going to meet needs. They know as a company there is no partially adapted properties available nor purpose build homes in our county. This is I’d say unlawful. As you can imagine how much upset and stress this is causing, why should my child be discriminated against because of her disability. 

Has anyone had any similar situations? 
I feel we are getting no where and my daughter is only young she is constantly growing and getting harder to for me carry up and down the stairs in the home. 

Thanks, G x


  • Alex_Scope
    Alex_Scope Posts: 7,562 Scope online community team
    Hello @gwills88 and thank you for taking the time to reach out. I'm sorry to hear about your experience trying to secure a more suitable home for you and your daughter, and coming up against so many barriers, despite a supportive OT. If you feel you've been discriminated against, it's worth raising this as an issue with your local authority. Hopefully our members can also share their thoughts with you too!

    It may be helpful to look into complaining with the local government & social care ombudsman, seeking housing help and advice from Shelter or perhaps contacting an advocacy service like the advocacy people for ongoing support. 

    It can be difficult to talk about negative experiences, but sharing them here is a positive step. Keep us updated with how things go, and I hope you can find somewhere that's right for you both soon.
    Online Community Coordinator

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  • MW123
    MW123 Scope Member Posts: 236 Pioneering
    Hello G 

    What a frustrating and disheartening time you are facing trying to secure suitable housing for your disabled daughter.  Discrimination based on disability is not acceptable, and housing authorities and organisations have a duty to ensure that the housing needs of disabled individuals are met.  Perhaps its time for you to  consult with a solicitor who specialises in disability rights or housing law. They will help you navigate the legal framework and ensure that the parties involved in this matter fulfil their obligations. With the right support and advocacy, I genuinely hope that a suitable home for your daughter will be found in the very near future.   


  • L_Volunteer
    L_Volunteer Community Volunteer Adviser, Scope Member Posts: 7,979 Disability Gamechanger
    Hey @gwills88. A warm welcome to Scope's community from me. It is great to see you have joined us. Thanks for already finding the courage to reach out to us. I appreciate the courage it can take to reach out, especially when you are new and finding things difficult.

    In all honesty, I have not directly experienced what you have. However, when I was younger my parents were told accommodation was not suitable due to my needs. I was too young at the time to properly remember what happened and what they went through. However, I know it took a while to change homes (from primary school age to secondary school age).

    I also have a close friend going through the same at the moment, due to her own needs and those needs of her child which makes her accommodation unsuitable for both of them. They are finding there just is not enough property to find accommodation suitable for both of their needs. It is rubbish that this stuff is still happening.

    I think their logic is that you could adapt your current accommodation to meet your daughter's needs. Instead, what they are trying to find is accommodation which is already suitable. I am fully aware this further limits and restricts the choices available to you though - especially with the current accommodation market. This is not helped by costs and a lack of accommodation coming above your circumstances and your daughter's needs.

    Hopefully, you will find more suitable accommodation for meeting your daughter's needs soon. Are you able to ask the adaptations team to send you a letter regarding their reasoning? This would, at least, enable you to seek legal advice and support. In the meantime, please don't hesitate to let us know if there's anything else we can do to help - even if that is just extending a listening ear  :)
    Community Volunteer Adviser with professional knowledge of education, special educational needs and disabilities and EHCP's. Pronouns: She/her. 

    Please note: if I use the online community outside of its hours of administration, I am doing so in a personal capacity only.
  • gwills88
    gwills88 Community member Posts: 3 Listener
    Hi Letitgo 

    I do know of the funding issue, I don’t expect my daughter to be granted or have things to meet her very need that just isn’t reality, I don’t think just because my daughter is disabled that individuals should bow down to her however I do want her treated with the respect she deserves and dignity. My post was aimed more at the treatment of the situation, being denied opportunities because of her disabilities, this really isn’t down to the funding. The communication breakdown is the cause of our case, and in my next post I will explain why. 

    Thanks for your post :)
  • surfygoose
    surfygoose Community member Posts: 374 Pioneering
    I really hope you get your housing situation sorted so that your daughter can live comfortably and have a good life, and also so that for you it will be easier for providing her care. I really feel for you. She is lucky to have you fighting for her, it makes all the difference. My mum has always fought hard for me. Keep us updated how you get on.
  • gwills88
    gwills88 Community member Posts: 3 Listener
    Hello everything, Thankyou for you’re reply’s! 

    ALOT has happened since my original post, I liaised with the council to set up a meeting with everything housing association in my area to see if anyone can help our case, meanwhile whilst the final details were being confirmed we come first in line for a property with a large garden. Because of how many time previous we were declined I wasn’t going to be getting hopes up. The housing association contacted me to say they will be referring our case to the adaptations team once again (in the previous occasions the adaptions team took roughly 5-8 weeks to come back with a response), I received a phone call 2 days later to say our case was finally a go ahead and the property could be adaptable for my daughters needs. I really couldn’t believe it, I went through all the normal process of pre tenancy and was accepted! It did take a while before I seen the property in real life due to work needed as asbestos was found and general tidy up before a new tenancy’s, I picked up the keys one week after viewing it. My daughters OT and grants officer from the council came with me for the first viewing to discuss potential plans for adaptions, I still couldn’t believe my daughter is one step closer to having what she needs. It feels like fate really did leave the best house til last. From what has happened to our case, all agencies that didn’t communicate are going to be changing the processes to ensure another family does not go through the same as we did.

    Here we are now, shortly moving in. We have more space for her equipment, my youngest daughter now can have her own room & space and a large garden for them both to enjoy. The process for the adaptions will soon start, it will take a good 18 months until everything is complete however I am just so so grateful we are now at this point. Now we can starting making the house a home :):smile:

    G x

  • MW123
    MW123 Scope Member Posts: 236 Pioneering
    Hello G

    I'm thrilled to learn that you've finally been allocated a fitting home after enduring all the stress and heartache. It's also reassuring to see that the agencies will be re-valuating their procedures, with the hope that no one else has to go through the same ordeal you did.  All the best to you and your family really happy for you. xx

  • chiarieds
    chiarieds Community member Posts: 15,458 Disability Gamechanger
    What marvellous news! I'm also delighted that this is the 'best' house for you all too. :)
  • Hannah_Scope
    Hannah_Scope Posts: 5,879 Disability Gamechanger
    @gwills88 That's brilliant news! So please for you all :) 
    Hannah - She / Her

    Online Community Coordinator @ Scope

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