Habinteg has published a free briefing explaining the important policy changes to accessible housing standards across England from 1 October.
Under the new housing standards regime, it is welcome that new accessibility standards will be included into the Building Regulations for the first time but we have significant concerns that they could be largely ignored. The briefing covers our main concerns and makes suggestions on how they might be addressed.
Habinteg makes the case for an increase in accessible housing with an approach that acknowledges the benefits and savings available when building to higher access standards. Crucially the new standards are optional, the briefing aims to highlight how important consideration of access will be as the standards come into force.
Habinteg Chief Executive Paul Gamble said:
“We will continue to make the common sense case for housing that is fit for purpose, built to last and inclusive to all. We hope this briefing will help in a practical and direct way and help planners and housing professionals to prioritise accessibility in their new developments.
“Having brought these new national accessible standards into the Building Regulations, we expect government to promote their use and increase the supply of accessible homes. Without this commitment, we risk reducing the supply as our population ages. This would be a mistake given the housing challenges we will face in the future and the shortage we currently have.
“I would urge anyone concerned with the supply of new homes to read the briefing and to look out for our housing standards toolkit which is coming soon.”
The briefing is recommended reading for planning teams, local elected representatives, executive officers at local authority level, housing access groups and local planning forums. The briefing is available from the Habinteg website: www.habinteg.org.uk/7pointsaboutthenew.