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Disabled man made homeless by Birmingham City Council: action on Monday

Housing4All | 13.09.2007 21:54 | Social Struggles | Birmingham

New campaign group formed to protest against disgusting and inhumane treatment of disabled people in housing need by Birmingham City Council

Housing4All is a newly formed campaign for accessible housing for all citizens, highlighting the totally unacceptable lack of accessible housing for disabled people in housing need in Birmingham.

Yet another disabled person has become homeless in Birmingham this week as a result of the criminal lack of accessible housing provision by Birmingham City Council. The individual, who is a wheelchair user and also has seizures, does not want to be named publicly as he is going through a very stressful time. Despite having been categorised as the top level of priority on the housing list for over a year, and having been promised accessible accommodation over a month ago, and despite the lobbying of the Centre for Independent Living (CIL), he has been offered nothing suitable, and now has to leave the property where he has been living temporarily, with his belongings packed in boxes, by this Monday (17th September).

As a result of this, Housing4All has been formed as a campaign for accessible housing for all citizens, and has demanded an immediate response from Birmingham City Council to this inhuman and totally unacceptable treatment (which is in breach of EU human rights legislation), and the immediate provision of accessible accommodation which Birmingham City Council up to now have failed to fulfil.

This case is just one of many examples of disabled people across the UK being treated as less than full human beings by not having their most basic rights and needs met. We demand, not "special treatment", but equal treatment with all other people, meaning that we have the same access as anyone else to all the fundamental aspects of full membership in society - whether housing, employment, medical treatment or any of the other social opportunities that non-disabled people take for granted, but that we are prevented from accessing by social and economic barriers unfairly placed in our way.

In Brown's Britain, despite central and local government rhetoric about independence and empowerment, many disabled people's only choices are homelessness, completely inaccessible housing in which it would be impossible to live a tolerable life, or imprisonment without charge or hope of release in the totalitarian institutions euphemistically named "care homes" (which have been recently ruled by the Law Lords to not be covered by the Human Rights Act).

If any other group in society were subjected to this, it would be seen as completely outrageous and unacceptable by 99% of the political spectrum, but because we are seen pervasively, even by those who claim to defend "freedom" and human rights, as inferior by our very nature this sort of inhuman treatment goes unremarked on. We demand independent living for all disabled people, regardless of the severity of their impairments, in housing with all necessary adaptations to give us equal access to fundamental human freedoms as non-disabled people. Liberty and Equality must be for all, or they are for none!

If Housing4All has not received a response from Birmingham City Council about this case by 5pm on this Friday (15th September), then we will take non-violent direct action on Monday. Details of the time and location of the action will be announced over this weekend. Anyone who is interested in becoming involved with Housing4All or in being a part of the action can contact Tom Comerford (Coordinator of Housing4All and member of DAN, the Disabled People's Direct Action Network) by email on or by phone on 0121 2447985 or 07816 275985.

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