Accessible housing postcode lottery revealed


Less than a quarter of homes built outside London by 2030 will be suitable for older and disabled people, housing experts have warned.

Nationwide analysis of 322 local planning policies by Habinteg Housing Association has revealed an ‘imminent supply crisis’ of all types of accessible homes in England.

It found that outside London, 23% of new homes due to be built by 2030 are planned to be accessible and only 1% are planned to be suitable for wheelchair users.

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The report follows the publication of an English Housing Survey that shows that 93% of UK homes don’t meet basic accessibility standards – and many developers are not building new homes that a suitable for people as they get older.

The new Insight Report: A Forecast for Accessible Homes reveals a postcode lottery in the supply of new accessible and adaptable homes, which is expected to negatively impact the health and independence of older and disabled people.

It found that by 2030 there will only be one accessible new home built for every 270 people in the West Midlands, one accessible new home for every 52 people in the East of England, and one accessible new home for every 24 people in London.

London bolsters the national forecast as the Greater London Authority require 90% of new homes to be built to accessible and adaptable standards and 10% to wheelchair accessible standards.

Habinteg CEO Sheron Carter said of the findings: “We would encourage national government to take a more strategic approach to accessible homes delivery. The optional approach is not only putting older and disabled people’s health and independence at risk but creating costly housing problems for the future.

“While the government has stated their ambition for getting more disabled people into work, our research shows that this will fail unless the housing crisis for disabled people is urgently tackled. We strongly urge the government to raise the mandatory baseline standard for accessible homes.”

Responding to Habinteg’s report, Local Government Association housing spokesman Cllr Martin Tett said: “Housing is critical to the wellbeing of individuals, and well-designed accessible homes are needed to meet the housing needs of our ageing population.

“Councils want to ensure the right homes are built in the right places but currently don’t have the powers or funding to build the homes that are desperately needed.

“We believe that new homes should be accessible or easily adaptable for people of all generations and needs, and it is vital the Government ensures national rules incentivise the building of accessible homes.

“Furthermore, it is crucial to acknowledge that the majority of people will live in existing housing. The Government needs to continue to invest in supporting the adaptation of homes to meet the needs of people as their circumstances change.”

Tags : Accessible Housinghousinghousing crisisResearchwheelchair users
Sarah Clarke

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