Tuesday 8 October 2013

Housing Consultation

I know, I know, it's another consultation, but as they say, "Nothing about us without us"

I've copied the below with thanks to Jane Young, do please take the time to take part if you can.

"Accessible housing standards – urgent response needed

by Jane Young

Our friends at Habinteg Housing Association have alerted us to an important Government consultation on housing standards, including accessibility standards, which closes on 22 October. Habinteg is well known for its expertise in building accessible homes; it developed the Lifetime Homes Standard (in which housing is built so that it can be easily adapted for changing needs, especially when occupants become disabled) and both provides and promotes fully wheelchair accessible housing.

As a retired local authority Disability Equality and Access Officer, I have very clear views on the accessibility of new housing; on my patch I pushed for 100% of new housing to be built to at least Lifetime Homes standard, with 10% built to the higher wheelchair access standard. Before I retired, I campaigned hard for the Lifetime Homes standard to be incorporated into the building regulations, to ensure compliance, so I’m pleased the Government is addressing this issue.

Habinteg (and I) take the view that the Lifetime Homes standard, or similar, should be the minimum accessibility standard for all new housing, with a proportion built to the higher, wheelchair accessible standard. However, despite our aging population, the relative inaccessibility of our current housing stock, the chronic shortage of accessible housing and the fact that new housing is expected to last several generations, the Government does not agree. It is therefore vital that as many people as possible, especially those with existing knowledge in this area, respond to the consultation.

Habinteg has provided a wealth of information on the Government’s review, including drafts of their own responses, to help us understand the issues and respond to the consultation. Please do all you can to spread the word and make your own response, however simple, to the consultation."

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