Accessible homes are vital to enable older and disabled people to live safely and independently. Habinteg’s recent accessible homes forecast revealed that less than half of all planning authorities have set requirements for new homes to meet higher accessibility standards. This is why Habinteg welcomes the government’s guidance published last week on housing for older and disabled people, including advice for councils in preparing their planning policies. Commenting on the new planning practice guidance, Sheron Carter, Habinteg’s Chief Executive said:
“We welcome the publication today of guidance from the MHCLG on how councils should prepare planning policies on housing for disabled and older people.
“This is an important reminder to local authorities that they should be setting clear policies to address the housing needs of disabled and older people. It also clearly signposts the government’s expectation that planning policies make use of the accessibility standards set out in building regulations since October 2015.
“Less than half of English planning authorities currently have specific policies for any proportion of new homes to be built to accessible standards. With only 7% of English housing stock offering even the most basic access features the accessibility of new homes is a vital if we’re to meet the needs of the whole population.
“We very much hope that this new guidance will encourage those Planning Authorities that haven’t already done so to take action now on setting policies to reflect the real life needs of disabled and older people in their area.”
See all of our recommendations for government and local planning authorities in our latest Insight Report.