I’m delighted to welcome the start of Habinteg’s fourth #ForAccessibleHomes week. It’s a great opportunity to celebrate the positive impact that accessible and adaptable homes have on the lives of the people who live in them and on the communities in which they’re built.
As national policy news continues to be dominated by the Brexit agenda and talk of an impending general election, we think it’s imperative to continue to highlight this vital issue. If the accessibility and adaptability of the vast majority of our new housing stock is not improved more and more people will suffer the consequences on their ability to live with independence in homes that support their health and wellbeing. The consequences of this would certainly be felt in increased pressure on health and social care systems.
Our Insight report published this summer showed just how patchy delivery of accessible homes is set to be across the country, with just 23% of new homes outside London due to be built to any form of accessible or adaptable standard by 2030.
So we want to ensure delivery on the promise that our last PM made in June to consult on the option of making all new homes accessible and adaptable by default. We were pleased to see mention of the consultation make it into the chancellor’s spending round this week – where it appeared alongside other elements of the Equality Impact Statement. But we want to make sure that whatever happens next regarding our government, that leaders fulfil the commitment to consult on this important proposal. Habinteg have been calling for all new homes to be built to accessible and adaptable standards for many years and we firmly believe that the level playing field for development that could be created by a higher regulatory baseline would have far reaching positive impact. It’s vital that our policy makers understand how important this is for so many households across the nation
#ForAccessibleHomes week is all about highlighting that positive impact. With the support of our Insight group members we’ll be sharing stories of individuals and families who are living proof of the benefits of accessible and adaptable homes. We have some great video content coming up as well as blogs from senior thought leaders across the sector. So please do watch out for special features on our #ForAccessibleHomes page this week, and join us on twitter using the #ForAccessibleHomes hashtag to add your support, share your story and join the conversation.