State of Gloucestershire: Housing
Our State of Gloucestershire Research
In 2021, Barnwood’s Insights team carried out a research project called the State of Gloucestershire. Over 260 disabled people and people with mental health conditions living in Gloucestershire responded to a survey. The survey asked about their experiences of accessing a range of opportunities and the quality and accessibility of their housing.
We have produced a series of booklets, each on a specific topic, which include the survey findings and relevant findings from research conducted by others. The booklets also include recommendations for organisations and providers which have been drawn from the findings.
Our survey findings indicate that disabled people and people with mental health conditions living in Gloucestershire face a range of challenges within their homes. Two-thirds of the survey respondents told us that they had at least one problem with their housing. Costs and lack of information were the most frequently reported barriers to solving housing problems:
- 65% of those who reported barriers to making adaptations reported financial challenges.
- One-fifth of respondents didn’t know where to find help with or information about housing.
We also asked respondents about their wellbeing, life satisfaction and feelings of choice related to their housing:
- Nearly half of respondents said their housing had a negative effect on their mental health and wellbeing.
- Over a third felt they had no choice about where they lived.
- 1 in 4 people felt they belonged in their local area.
- Half of respondents had someone they could call on for company.
Based on our survey findings and our review of research conducted by others, we recommend the following actions to make housing more accessible for disabled people and people with mental health conditions:
- Engagement: Proactively and directly engage with disabled people and people with mental health conditions to understand how to improve access to high quality and suitable housing. Co-production and co-design can also help ensure information produced about housing is accessible.
- Accessible information: Provide clear and accessible information in a range of formats and via multiple channels, along with the option for in person contact. Accessible information provision should consider all the useful information that might be provided to enable real choice.
- Choice: Take proactive steps to ensure real choice is available and accessible to disabled people and people with mental health conditions about housing. Choice is more than just a greater range of options, it’s about making sure that what’s currently on offer is accessible to everyone.
We have produced the Housing booklet in a range of different accessible formats. We will be doing the same for all of the booklets as part of the State of Gloucestershire reports.