Accessible housing options could be enhanced by new legislation | Latest news

Accessible housing options could be enhanced by new legislation

Local authorities will receive government guidance to increase the priority of meeting the housing needs of older and disabled people following the passing of an amendment to current legislation in the House of Lords.

The Neighbourhood Planning Bill has adopted the amendment with strong cross-party support across the House as part of a greater government focus on current and future accessible housing need.

The amendment was first introduced by Heidi Allen MP and supported by Housing Minister Gavin Barwell in the House of Commons. With the Housing White Paper out this week and the influential Women and Equalities Select Committee inquiry on disability and the built environment making an impact, the issue of mainstream accessible housing is firmly on the agenda.

Our Vice-Chair, Andrew Gibson, said:

“Ministers must be commended for taking the decision to legislate to help meet the significant and growing demand for inclusive housing options in England.

“We’ve been campaigning to increase the priority given to mainstream accessible and flexible homes that can adapt to changing circumstances for some time. This legislation marks a serious move to tackle current and future housing need, especially as our population ages.

“Local authorities will now receive guidance from government on how they should address the diverse housing needs of local people. We’re optimistic that local authorities will rise to the challenge and increase the supply of much needed accessible homes.

“Heidi Allen MP deserves great praise for her tireless work in bringing this issue to the attention of Ministers and strongly making the common sense case for national housing policy to respond to the housing crisis in an inclusive way.

“We’ve been proud to work with Heidi on this amendment and look forward to the legislation making a real impact to the lives of older and disabled people in future.”

You can see the transcript of the House of Lords discussions here (amendment 19)