Access and the review of housing standards: 7 things you need to know

Habinteg logo and tagling: Accessible homes, independent lives

We have published a policy briefing highlighting seven concerns about the Government’s proposals for the future of accessible homes.

The DCLG’s Housing Standards Review, which began in 2013 is set to make significant changes to the rules governing the design of new homes from spring 2015. The second round of public consultation, which closes on Friday 7 November, invites feedback from both organisations and individuals on the technical specification of the standards as well as the proposals for implementation.

According to the proposals, standards for the design of accessible homes will be brought under regulation for the first time. However, through a change in the regulatory framework they are set to be designated as ‘optional’ meaning that local authorities have no obligation to plan for them. We are deeply concerned that this could seriously limit the supply of accessible homes, missing a golden opportunity to plan cost effectively for the needs of the growing number of disabled and older people in Britain.

Designed to help stakeholders formulate their consultation response, our seven point briefing outlines our concerns about this ‘optional’ status along with six other issues which we believe must be addressed in order for the proposals to increase the supply of accessible homes.


The briefing is a partner document to our technical feedback on the detail of the access standards which is also available to download on this site.

The Government’s review represents a critical moment for the future of accessible house building and we urge everyone with an interest to respond to the consultation.