East of England landlord forms partnership to change disability perspective

Eastlight Community Homes has partnered with Purple to improve the experiences of disabled people living and working in social housing.
Mike Adams, chief executive of Purple.

The East of England social housing provider Eastlight Community Homes has teamed up with the national disability organisation Purple to drive equality for disabled people in housing.

The 12,000-home community-led housing association has partnered with Purple to help improve the experience of people with disabilities living and working in social housing.

The partnership sees Eastlight join Purple’s other national partners such as the supermarket Sainsbury’s and online retailer ebay.

Emma Palmer, chief executive of Eastlight Community Homes, said: “We’re really committed to unlocking the conversations that need to be had for us and other housing organisations and sharing best practice with others.

“We hope this partnership will be a catalyst for significant change in culture, attitudes and policy which will level up the inequality between disabled and non-disabled people.’’

According to Purple, the spending power of disabled people in the UK is worth £274 billion and is estimated to be rising by 14% per year. However, less than 10% of organisations have a targeted plan to access the disability market.

Purple aims to bring together disabled people and business to change the conversation about disability, framing it in terms of potential and value rather than disadvantage and inequality.

Over the next few months, Eastlight will work with Purple to engage residents, housing employees and the wider UK housing sector about the disability experience.

The landlord will host a free virtual summit for the sector on 6 October titled Improving the experiences of disabled people in the housing sector.

The partnership will also enable Eastlight to get involved in Purple Tuesday on 2 November. The annual awareness-raising day aims to improve the customer experience for disabled people 365 years a year.

Mike Adams, chief executive at Purple, said: “We need to change the disability conversation from one about vulnerable people, charity and welfare to one focused on choice, contribution and opportunity on all things disability.

“Purple is absolutely delighted to be working with Eastlight as housing is one of those central pillars for transforming permanent change for disabled people.”

The Improving the experience of disabled people in the housing sector summit is expected to attract up to 500 people. Details of how to register will be made available soon.

Image: Mike Adams, chief executive of Purple. Credit: Purple.

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