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Chief Executive blog: Our response to the Equality and Human Rights Commission's Hidden Housing Crisis report

The EHRC today (11 May 2018) published The Hidden Housing Crisis report on housing and disability in the UK.

Responding to the report recommendations, Habinteg CEO Sheron Carter blogs:

“The Hidden Housing Crisis report published today by the Equality and Human Rights Commission shines a light on the stark housing inequalities faced by many disabled people in the UK.

Habinteg have been long term campaigners for accessible housing standards and this report clearly shows the need for a step change in supply to meet the current and future needs of the population.

We wholeheartedly endorse the report recommendation that all new housing in England should be built to the accessible, adaptable standard – now embodied in Part M4 of Building Regulations as optional access standard ‘Category 2’. This standard which is based on the Lifetime Homes standard delivers homes which offer high quality, flexible and adaptable design that is suitable for all kinds of households and is easily modified to provide specific access features if required.

We also endorse the call for 10% of new homes to be built to full wheelchair access standards (now set out in Part M4 Category 3), across all tenures to ensure that wheelchair users have proper choice in where and how they live.

Underpinning this we are also pleased to see the EHRC call for mandatory planning guidance for local authorities to support them in planning for accessible, adaptable homes and homes built to meet the needs of wheelchair users.

The number of disabled people in the population is rising. With only 7% of homes in England meeting even minimum access standards we must ensure that the country’s ambitious build programme pays attention to the accessibility and long term usability of new homes as well as the numbers delivered. Not doing so risks storing up a whole new housing crisis of a different kind in future with impacts not only on individual people’s right to independent living, but also on the health and social care sectors.”

 

See the full report at: https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/housing-and-disabled-people-britain’s-hidden-crisis