Amongst a range of strong recommendations, the report calls for all new homes to be built to The Building Regulations Part M (4) Category 2 – an accessible, adaptable standard.
Changing the national default standard of new homes to an accessible, adaptable standard would have a significant impact on the supply of futureproof homes that meet a range of requirements.
Habinteg have long asserted that Category 2 should be the national minimum access standard for new housing. At the moment just 7% of our housing stock provides even basic accessibility features, so such a move would be an important step towards ensuring an adequate supply of accessible, adaptable housing to meet the needs of our population.
Habinteg CEO, Sheron Carter, said:
“We are very glad that the Communities and Local Government Committee have recommended that The Building Regulations Part M (4) Category 2 should be the default standard for all new homes nationally in their Housing for Older People report. This is an essential policy ingredient if we are to adequately meet the varying housing needs of our older population.
“We hope that the findings of this inquiry inspire tangible outcomes in planning and policy and result in more housing which is futureproof and suitable for arrange of requirements.”
The benefits of accessible, adaptable homes are widespread – such as enabling adaptations to be carried out quickly and more cost effectively. This can ease the strain on health and social care services by reducing delayed discharge and making it easier for people returning home from hospital. Accessible homes can also have a positive impact on loneliness, as they can allow people to live more independently and enable increased participation in the local community.