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Ministers urged to build more accessible homes

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Care and Support, Central Government, Communities

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Ministers and local authorities have been urged to ensure that more accessible homes are built in the UK.

Accessible housing and disability expert Habinteg has welcomed the government’s response to the housing standards review, but has expressed disappointment that it didn’t take the opportunity to standardise upwards by enshrining the accessible adaptable standard.

Habinteg chief executive Paul Gamble said: “We called for accessible standards to be included in the building regulations and we are pleased that this has been adopted for the first time ever by the government. Enshrining three levels of accessibility in the regulations is a significant recognition of what the public need from their future housing.

“The baton is now handed to local authorities to ensure that their local housing investment will meet needs long into the future. There is widespread recognition in national and local government that we need to act now to plan for our ageing population.

"So it’s critical that planning teams are given the tools and support to assess long term need and viability. We should not jeopardise the effectiveness of public investment in homes of local communities to the short term profit margins of developers. The long term savings to health and social care budgets gained by building to accessible, adaptable standards must be reflected in viability assessments.

“London is showing how it can be done, the GLA have specified Lifetime Homes as minimum access standard for some years now. We want to see more planning authorities take this sensible long term approach to their housing investment.”

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