DS is a young child who was born with tetraplegia and as a result uses a wheelchair. He was living with his mum, dad and two siblings in one bedroom at his grandparents’ local authority home.
The family had been on the waiting list for suitable accommodation for four years — simply because the local authority and a local housing trust could not agree who had responsibility for providing specially adapted accommodation.
The local authority had previously offloaded its housing stock to the housing trust. But that trust had no suitable wheelchair-adapted accommodation and it said that the responsibility for providing suitable housing lay with the local authority.
How we helped
We got in touch with both the local authority and the housing trust. We set up a round table meeting and — with threats of judicial review and the involvement of the ombudsman — we persuaded the local authority to adapt its policy.
As a result, the local authority agreed to cover the cost of adapting a suitable property provided by the housing trust. We engaged a housing expert to work with both parties to ensure the correct package of adaptations was provided.
Within six months of getting involved, DS and his family were moved in to a fully-adapted new home. It had adequate space for a wheelchair and was kitted out with a lift from the kitchen/diner to the bedroom, an ensuite wet room, hoists, ramps and covered canopies.