DPOs Reject Government's Divisive 'British Homes for British workers' Policy

Mon,5 February 2024
News Housing

Ahead of the opening evidence session for the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities inquiry into Disabled People and housing, a group of leading DPOs, including Disability Rights UK, REAL, DPAC, Stand Up Sisters, Alliance for Inclusive Education, Reclaiming Our Futures Alliance, DPAC Norfolk, Harrow Association of Disabled people, Choices and Rights Disability Coalition, Chronic Illness Inclusion, Action on Disability, Difference North East, Disability Positive, Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People, Leeds DPAC, Disabled People’s Action Group Bradford and District, Bristol Reclaiming Independent Living, Richmond AID, Action Disability Kensington and Chelsea, WinVisiblePeople First Self Advocacy have emphatically rejected the Government's proposed "British homes for British workers" policy for social housing. 

Under the new plans, the Government will offer priority housing for people with “close connections” to the UK and their local area. The policy will ensure that applicants who can demonstrate a connection to the UK for at least 10 years and their local area for at least two years will be favoured.

This appalling policy proposal comes as the Government fails to take action to prioritise the urgent needs of Disabled people across the housing sector. It is estimated someone joining a local authority waiting list for a new-build wheelchair-accessible home could wait up to 47 years. And we know that the housing experiences of Disabled people of colour and Disabled migrants are particularly acute. 

The statement which has also been endorsed by the Disability and Migration Network reads:

“In response to the government consultation, the leading Disabled People’s Organisations: Disability Rights UK, DPAC, REAL, Stand Up Sisters, Reclaiming Our Futures Alliance, DPAC Norfolk, Harrow Association of Disabled people, Chronic Illness Inclusion, Action on Disability, Difference North East, Disability Positive, Richmond AID & People First Self Advocacy all stress that there are 14 million Disabled people in the UK, and we make up a fifth of the population. We are not a homogenous group: we have different impairments, are different genders, sexual orientations, come from different backgrounds, and live different lives.

Some of us experience greater injustice, but we have many things in common: we all want to live in an inclusive society where everyone has a fulfilling life and feels connected and valued. No matter our backgrounds or circumstances, we all have a right to affordable, accessible housing that keeps us warm and safe. As the leading organisations for Disabled people, we all completely reject this divisive, appalling attempt to scapegoat migrants for the Government’s failings.”