Housing Made for Everyone (HoME) is a coalition of 10 organisations calling for urgent action to tackle the UK’s acute and growing shortage of accessible homes.
HoME is calling for the ‘accessible and adaptable’ design standard (set out in volume 1 of the Building Regulations M4 Category 2) to be made the mandatory baseline for all new homes; for Local Authorities to ensure their housing policies adequately reflect the needs of older and disabled people; and for housing associations and developers to commit to providing high quality homes fit for the future.
All members have signed up to a shared vision and charter to review society’s approach to housing and ensure all new housing is built to be suitable for the changing needs of our ageing population and disabled people.
On 29 July 2022, the Government confirmed that it will raise the minimum accessibility standard for all new homes built in England following its consultation into raising the accessibility standards of new homes.
In future, all new homes will be expected to meet the 'accessible and adaptable' standard set out in building regulations.
The announcement clarifies that a second consultation will now be carried out on the implementation of the change, including updates to statutory guidance and the circumstances in which exceptions to the higher standard might apply.
As Co-Chairs of the Housing Made for Everyone (HoME) coalition, Habinteg Housing Association and the Centre for Ageing Better welcome this momentous decision.
Holly Holder, Deputy Director for Homes, Centre for Ageing Better, said: “We warmly welcome the Government’s decision to raise the minimum accessibility standard as a positive step towards resolving the significant shortage of accessible and adaptable new homes in this country.
“Raising the standard of accessibility has the potential to change millions of lives but only if executed well and with very limited exceptions to the way the revised regulation is applied. Homes with higher accessibility standards benefit everyone, particularly disabled people and older people, and disadvantage no one.”
Christina McGill, Director of Social Impact & External Affairs, Habinteg, said: “The need for accessible homes is going to grow significantly over the next 20 years as our population ages. Improving mandatory access standards will remove many of the barriers currently limiting the number of accessible homes being built and help deliver the right quality of homes for everyone.
“We look forward to further discussions with the government on the next phase of consultation. This must be carried out with urgency and address the finer details needed to deliver on the promise of housing that is suitable and accessible for people throughout their lives.”
Read the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and Eddie Hughes MP press release issued on 29 July 2022, Supply of accessible homes to receive vital boost.
The HoME coalition was founded by the Centre for Ageing Better, Habinteg, Age UK, RIBA, Disability Rights UK, Housing LIN, the National Housing Federation, the Chartered Institute of Housing and the Town and Country Planning Association.