How should data be used to inform policy that addresses the disability gap in accessible affordable housing for people with disabilities? Should subsidized housing be restricted to certain types of disabilities?

Author: Andrew Lange

The November forum discussion was intended to highlight the important role of government to provide affordable and accessible housing for people with disabilities, and how data can help identify participants and at which rates.

The discussion began with clarifying how people are identified as having a disability and if they need to already be participating in social protection programs to be eligible. In the U.S., this is determined by a medical professional though anyone with a mobility, vision or hearing disability can qualify.

Two commenters, Daniel Mont and Esma Gumberidze, emphasized the issue of discrimination by excluding people with intellectual, phsychosocial or other cognitive disabilities. Esma shared that everyone with a disability should be entitled to housing quotas, if such quotas exist in the country. Public housing programs should be in place and further, once excluding any group of persons with disabilities out of the quota system because of their type of disability is discrimination.

Similar to inclusion efforts in other sectors, discrimination of people with disabilities must be addressed in housing and special consideration should be given for intersectional discrimination, especially women and single mothers with disabilities, who are especially vulnerable.

Unfortunately, there was not discussion with regard to the role of data. Though this is certainly an area where high quality data can and should inform public policy, to ensure appropriate programs are in place and inclusive of all who need them, including those with cognitive disabilities.