55+ housing not discrimination but where are the communities for the disabled — Scope | Disability forum
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55+ housing not discrimination but where are the communities for the disabled

carlea68 Community member Posts: 6 Courageous
Hi, I'm writing to find out how people feel about the 55+ housing rule and to give my take on why although by act (not law) it is not classed as discrimination, housing authorities are discriminating against the disabled. 
Where I live I have seen beautiful areas with fabulous detached bungalows being built, some on the outskirts of my city, some near the city centre every bungalow having a 55+ or 65+ banner attached to it, most have been built within the past 15 years yet nowhere have I seen a disabled community.
It seems the housing associations can justify building all these properties for older people, most of whom are a lot more healthier than me, yet cannot and do not build properties for those with a disability.  Image an area with beautiful bungalows, shops with wheelchair access, quiet areas, a coffee shop for the disabled to pop in and chat to others like themselves where they can get advise or just a bit of company.
Nope never seen one and doubt i ever will. 
And yes before you throw it out there, the same could be said for every other minority, gender etc etc. And that is my point! Why have all housing authorities allocated all this money and housing towards one specific group.
I am currently asking for details under the Freedom Of Information Act of all the housing groups in my area of how many 55+ bungalows they have built over the past 20 years and how many Disability bungalows they have built in the past 20 years.  
My guess 100% 55+ 0% Disabled. 
I'll let you know my findings.
Thanks for reading, leave your comments below



  • janer1967
    janer1967 Community member Posts: 21,964 Disability Gamechanger
    I live in a new housing association bungalow in a nice quiet area with another 10 bungalows and houses 

    I am under 55 with a teenage son living with me 

    My local housing don't just allocate these properties to 55+ but to disabled as well 

    Majority of other bungalow occupants are also under 55

    Guess I fell lucky 
  • OverlyAnxious
    OverlyAnxious Community member Posts: 2,496 Disability Gamechanger
    I think the idea is that disabled people are part of 'normal' society rather than being kept in one community. 

    I do agree about the over 55 limit being frustrating though.  I need a bungalow myself but have only found very few in our council area that allow under 55s, many of the flats are even 55+.  I've just seen several in a new estate without a 55 'tag' but they're outside of my council area and too far away for me anyway.
  • carlea68
    carlea68 Community member Posts: 6 Courageous
    Hi Janer I live in a 55+ bungalow too but an older property, most of my neighbours are in their 60's 70s I hate it here. I suffer with mental health as well as physical disabilities, no privacy always having to stop and chat. Neighbours are lovely but I'd like to be in a bungalow in the middle of nowhere. I fought tooth and nail to get this place but its like living in a closet. The reason I posted is frustration due to a mutual exchange from a 1 bed to a 2 bed bungalow. Lady who wants to exchange is 3 years older yet lives in a 65+ bungalow. You can guess, turned exchange down due to age grrrrrr. Lol
  • carlea68
    carlea68 Community member Posts: 6 Courageous
    Hi Overly, that's what i'm saying, where are the properties tagged Disabled only, or gay only, why is only one community getting all the help. I do have a bungalow and I know I'm lucky but its very community based and my mental health rarely allows me that luxury. Hope you get somewhere soon. I think I got mine because I was living in a flat surrounded by ex prisoners with big drug habits, 

  • newborn
    newborn Community member Posts: 830 Pioneering
    Habinteg had the peculiar idea that disabled people are people.
    Suffragettes had the same peculiar idea that even women are people.   
    I have my own peculiar idea that older people are people.
    Nelson Mandela had his peculiar idea that dark-skinned people are people.
    Segregation and separate ghettos for labelled sub-humans is a good idea because..........Well, why?   
  • woodbine
    woodbine Community member Posts: 10,409 Disability Gamechanger
    Heres my take on it for what it might be worth, some (not a lot) of social housing bungalows have been built so that older people can move on from 2/3/4 bedroom housing freeing up these larger homes to rent for younger families, I see no issue with this and quite frankly NO discrimination.
    Seasons greetings to one and all 🎄🎅🏻🌲
  • Cress
    Cress Community member Posts: 1,012 Pioneering
    edited September 2021
    I’m in a social housing bungalow that were designated for elderly and or disabled people.
    as are the ground floor flats.
    these are also placed with houses.
    in an ideal world every house would be suitable for every need but I can’t see that happening anytime soon…lack of housing, let alone adapted housing is still a massive problem
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 49,590 Disability Gamechanger
    I've been disabled for 10 years but the thought of being "put into disabled community" is a definite no from me, sorry. I'm not ashamed of my disablity but i certainly wouldn't want to be "shoved" into any corner.
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • mousey
    mousey Scope Member Posts: 42 Courageous
    In my area we are 'allowed' to bid on 55+ properties if ground floor accomidation is required, I suppose it is another example of a postcode lottery.
  • TheAlien
    TheAlien Community member Posts: 228 Pioneering
    Same here @mousey bungalows that have been adapted with level access or wet rooms are advertised as over 55 or a medical need requiring that particular adaptation.

    I think a lot are using that criteria now, but the big problem I have is the space.  Bungalows tend to have much smaller rooms, so if you have mobility issues once you get the furniture in, there's very little room to physically get around the place without bumping into the furniture.
  • sben
    sben Community member Posts: 43 Connected
    I have been told by councils and social housing that they are not concerned and they are not bothered about health and disabilities.
  • Tori_Scope
    Tori_Scope Scope Campaigns Posts: 12,462 Disability Gamechanger
    I'm sorry to hear that you were told that @sben. There's a shortage of accessible, affordable, good quality housing, but I'd hope that this isn't something that councils are unbothered about. Were you told that in the context of trying to access suitable housing?
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  • _witchcore
    _witchcore Community member Posts: 32 Connected
    I wouldn't like to live in a  community solely for disabled people, but I think I understand what you mean.

    In my area there are hundreds if working age people bidding on each adapted property as it comes available. The bungalows are not added to the disabled housing register though, as the council doesn't allow housing associations to let them to under 55s.

    I ended up in a situation where my OT wrote on my housing application that I urgently need ground floor only 2 bed accommodation with a level access bathroom... which left flats and bungalows.

    We tried a flat and because it was very small I couldn't manoeuvre my chair inside. For the last 4 years my husband and I have lived in our living room, unable to access the other rooms. It has been very demeaning. Our family has had no living space... our children confined to their rooms as we couldn't fit a sofa or chairs in the living room with a bed and wheelchairs. As all of the flats here are the same kind of style, galley kitchen, narrow hallway... I was told not to bid on any as they aren't suitable.

    That left bungalows. I can't rent privately, I'm a disabled student and don't meet the letting criteria since I left my job. I also can't buy somewhere for the same reason. So I was relying on being housed by a system that doesn't work for me. The only properties that were suitable were 2 bed bungalows but the only 2 bed bungalows available are for over 55s. how is this fair?

    In Jan last year, someone with mental ill health and access to the communal garden set fire to my back door. I couldn't get out of the flat. It was horrible. Luckily the fire brigade turned up in less than 3mins!

    This experience scared me to death and I found some kind of inner strength to fight the system. I complained to anyone who would listen. I dug up dirt on the housing association and found they were selling off bungalows in the affluent parts of town where I live for 2.5m, and using the money to buy cheap terraces in deprived areas. Effectively moving social housing tenants out of the nice areas. I suddenly had people from the HA calling me every day to help me do a managed move as they agreed that the bidding system is flawed.

    I am now sat in a lovely 3 bedroom new build with a ground floor bathroom. The houses are built with level access doors, wide doorways, plug sockets higher up, already wired up for stair lifts etc. I can do donuts in my hallway! They're not specifically for disabled people. They're for anyone, but built with everyone in mind. It's amazing. I have to pay bedroom tax but actually, the house is big enough that I can work from home so that gives me more options. I will never know if it was just luck, kindness of the HA staff, or because I threatened to go to councillors about the selling off of bungalows... but all I can say is just don't give up. Start petitions like I did. Ask questions. Demand answers and don't be fobbed off. It took me 8 months of calling every week and reminding the council that my complaint was out of time to finally be offered somewhere perfect.


  • goosegog
    goosegog Community member Posts: 6 Listener

    Wow , fantastic . I only wish I could do the same . Well done
  • sben
    sben Community member Posts: 43 Connected
    Hi Tori_Scope
    I have been told that by both council and social housing.
    It is very difficult, because of my dissability and mobility problems.
    I find it very difficult to get up and down the stairs, I find it very difficult to get in and out of the bath.
    I am at risk of falls, in which I have had falls, and I am at risk of accidents, in which I have had accidents, because of seizures and mobility problems.
  • sben
    sben Community member Posts: 43 Connected
    I find it very tricky with private accommodation, because a lot of private landlords prefer people that are working, in which I am not.
    I have also noticed that a lot of private landlords would like you to have guarantors, in which I don't have, as I am on my own, and I do not have any one in my life.
    I have also noticed that a lot of landlord don't accept people who are on benefits, in which I am on benefits as I am not working, and I have experienced several times being turned down for private accommodation.
    What I will find reasonable, is a ground floor accommodation with a walk-in shower, because of my disability and my mobility.
  • sben
    sben Community member Posts: 43 Connected
    I have been told that by both council and social housing.
    It is very difficult, because of my dissability and mobility problems.
    I find it very difficult to get up and down the stairs, I find it very difficult to get in and out of the bath.
    I am at risk of falls, in which I have had falls, and I am at risk of accidents, in which I have had accidents, because of seizures and mobility problems.
  • JenF
    JenF Community member Posts: 28 Connected
    Many younger disabled people would be ideally suited by those flats and bungalows, and to deny it to them on grounds of age is discrimination.
    I have no problem with the idea that over 55's should have reserved housing, providing the same provision is made for younger people elsewhere.
    I'd like to add a shout for people who can't manage stairs but aren't in wheelchairs - ground floor and bungalow accommodation goes to them, and as there's a shortage the others are left high and dry.
    Glad to hear the experiences of those whose local authorities have looked after them - ours didn't want to know - didn't even know how many ground floor or adapted properties there were in the county.
    We were obliged to use all of my husband's lump sum pensions to purchase a bungalow in a low cost area far from home for my daughter - which is worrying for us in our old age as maintenance costs fall on us, and humiliating for her as  she is fiercely independent. 
  • sben
    sben Community member Posts: 43 Connected
    There is still no housing for people with disabilities in the Brighton and Hove area.
    This means that I still have to struggle.
  • goosegog
    goosegog Community member Posts: 6 Listener
    It seems as though yhere is a nationwide shortage on bungalows or even ground floor flats. 


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