chapter
Introduction
Pages 9

Disabled people have the lowest incomes and worst housing circumstances of all social groups in society (OPCS, 2001). As Rowe (1990: 10) notes, ‘the housing needs of disabled people are rarely considered within the general area of housing provision’. In 1971, the Office for Population Censuses and Surveys (OPCS, 1971) said that 800,000 people with physical impairments in the UK were living in unsatisfactory housing, a figure that was estimated to be over 1 million by 2001 (OPCS, 2001). Owner occupation is beyond the incomes of the majority of disabled people, while social housing is limited in quantity and location and is not always appropriate. Not surprisingly, most disabled people live with another family member, and in situations that do not always encourage or support independent living. In a context where government ministers in the UK are stressing the importance of developing an inclusive society, disabled people’s inability to gain access to housing which meets their particular needs reinforces their partial citizenship.