Parliamentary disability and the built environment inquiry focuses on housing
On 1 February 2017, MPs from the Women and Equalities select committee highlighted the importance of accessible housing in an evidence session with Housing Minister Gavin Barwell MP. This session is the latest development in the select committee’s inquiry into ‘Disability and the built environment’.
Philip Davies MP used Habinteg’s research into the demand for accessible homes to quiz the Housing Minister during the evidence session, and suggested that higher minimum standards should be adopted nationwide. He also said that accessible design is better for everyone and called for tangible change to Government policy.
Tracy Brabin MP suggested that the London plan has lead by example and could be implemented in other parts of the country, in order to future-proof new housing stock.
Housing Minister Gavin Barwell MP said “I want to make sure that accessible housing gets the attention it deserves” and that he would not lose sight of the need for accessible homes (24 Housing, 2017).
As a result of the issues raised during this evidence session, 24 Housing have quoted Habinteg's Vice-Chair Andrew Gibson in an article about the Housing Minister’s commitment to accessibility:
“It’s clear to see that the housing needs of older and disabled people are becoming an increasing priority for the Government and MPs of all political parties.
“I welcome the Minister’s commitment to accessible housing at the Women and Equalities select committee hearing today.
“While there is still much work to do, it seems that accessible housing is beginning to receive the attention it deserves and is increasing in priority amongst policy makers.
“For us, the challenges of an ageing population, the demands of young disabled people and the inclusive and changing housing needs we’ll all face, should be at the heart of any long-term housing policy. The signs are promising and we look forward to seeing how policy develops.”
The full article is available to read here.
The select committee evidence session can be viewed here.