A consultation on accessible housing for older and disabled people will take place in “a matter of weeks”, the Housing Minister has said.
Facing questions from fellow MPs in the House of Commons yesterday, Luke Hall was pushed on the consultation on accessible housing standards promised by Theresa May last June.
Blaydon MP Liz Twist asked Hall: “Can the minister say when the consultation will take place and will he meet with me and representatives of wheelchair users to discuss?”
Hall responded: “We have been working across government on accessible housing provision and we’ll consult in a matter of weeks on options to raise the accessibility standards in new homes.
“The consultation will consider making high accessibility standards mandatory for recognising the importance of suitable homes for older and disabled people; I’ll be delighted to meet with her.”
In August, Age UK and housing association Habinteg Housing Association launched a joint campaign for new homes to be built with higher accessibility standards to enable people to stay independent for longer.
As of last year, only 7% of existing housing stock in the UK met basic accessibility standards, according to the English Housing Survey.
This is despite the fact that there are currently 6.5 million people with mobility problems and 13.9 million disabled people in the country.
Habinteg CEO, Sheron Carter, said it was “a relief” that the consultation on accessible housing will now go ahead.
“Habinteg has been urging the Prime Minister to get on with the much needed consultation so this is a positive turn of events. Our recent Insight report showed that only 43% of local plans contained specific requirements to deliver any new homes to the optional standards,” she said.
“This is why it’s a relief that after months without a solid time frame on when the consultation on accessible housing standards will begin, the housing minister provided clarification. We hope now the government can place a stronger focus on housing for disabled people. We look forward to contributing to the consultation.”