As research on the environmental factors that contribute to disability and participation increases rapidly there remains little research that focuses on the state of housing and accessibility. In particular, since the home is the starting place of community participation, little is known about the basic “front door” access, access to transportation, housing and neighborhood quality and prevalence of accessibility features. We examined the American Housing Survey data from 2009 and 2011 to examine these questions.
The American Housing Survey (AHS) provides a current and continuous series of data on selected housing and demographic characteristics. The survey is used to assess housing needs and inform housing policy. Both occupied and vacant housing units are surveyed. The survey is sponsored by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and is conducted biennially in odd numbered years.
In 2009, disability screening questions from the American Community Survey were added to the AHS. Of the total weighted sample of households with individuals 18-65 (n= 94,479,947 million households) 7,340,381 million reported having at least one person with an impairment. Overall, these individuals reported poor home access. For example, over 50% reported at least one step at the entrance to their home and 13% (nearly a million people) live at least one floor above the ground level and do not have access to a working elevator. Clearly, community participation can be greatly improved with changes in housing policy that improve home access for people with mobility impairments. The hope is that the results of this research will inform national housing and transportation policies as well as future development of the survey itself.
- Project dates: 2011-2013
- Funded by: National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research Grant No. H133B110006
- Principal staff: Craig Ravesloot, Ph.D., Lillie Greiman, M.A.
- Project partners: The Research and Training Center on Community Living at the University of Kansas.
- Related projects: