Thomas Pocklington Trust

Winter 2014

The challenge

The Thomas Pocklington Trust commissioned us to provide research and insight into young adults with sight loss can move towards independent living. They thought there was a lack of research on the housing circumstances, needs and opportunities for independent living among young adults with sight loss. They asked TCC to research how young adults who have sight loss move towards independence and the significance of housing/housing support in the movement towards this.  We also looked at the potential for creating and developing housing opportunities for young adults with sight loss. 

How we approached it

We undertook a literature review followed by qualitative research phase of 100 in-depth telephone interviews with young adults (ages 16-44) with sight loss throughout England.  The phone interviews were compiled of questions that helped us map each participants housing journey by discussing their current situation, aspirations and perception of barriers. We analysed and presented the findings of the interview in a report that compared the similarities and difference between people with sight loss in different living circumstances. To make these findings more accessible to people with sight loss we produced an audio report with stories from the interviews and a summary of the results.

What happened

Through our research, we found that there is an issue with housing availability due to reductions in grant funding for housing in the social rented sector. We found this is due to a growing private rented sector. This has made it especially difficult for those with sight loss to find appropriate housing that would help them achieve and sustain independent living. Through our interviews, we found that the location of housing is essential to feeling comfortable and safe while living independently. There was a trend of needing housing that is close to public transportation, accessible road crossings and nearby support networks to achieve independent living.