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Landlords save money by not improving access for disabled Kiwis

People with disabilities face the reality that their requirements for an accessible home are not going to convince too many landlords to make changes.

In the current housing crisis, landlords don’t need to invest in making their properties accessible because the demand by the general population is so high. A sad but true reality, the number of people without homes in New Zealand is on the rise, disabled or not.

The housing crisis is far reaching, but the issue for disabled people seeking accessible homes has gone on well before this moment in time.

There has always been accessible houses around, just not enough of them.

A recent article on Stuff.co.nz claims that no houses are available for disabled New Zealanders.

To be exact, 24% of New Zealand’s population lives with a disability.

The woman featured in the news story this week has been living in a fully accessible rental home. The house has a ramp, wet area shower, and raised decking. Perfect for someone with a physical disability, this is an example of the type of property that is often sold to the general consumer.

Houses with multiple accessible features should be given priority to people with disabilities and the elderly.

In Christchurch, research suggests that just 2% of new homes will be accessible for those with mobility issues. This is a shockingly low percentage for one of New Zealand’s larger cities, and one that has been effected by a major natural disaster. Surely, if you are building from brand new home, you might as well make it accessible for everyone?

Again, it all comes down to cost for investors, and adding access aids like ramps is not cost-effective. A sad but true reality in the current financial climate, if costs can be cut, they will be.

 

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