Section: Housing for Disabled People

Ministers sat on accessible housing research for up to four years

Posted 28.01.21
Disability News Service: Further reading

Ministers delayed publishing a report that called for more research into the benefits of accessible housing for up to four years, Disability News Service has revealed.

The report, by architectural firm PRP, was finally published last week by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG). However, none of the research and evidence referenced in the document is dated later than March 2016.

The report examined evidence on the benefits of accessible housing, and the effectiveness of guidance relating to other buildings - under Part M of the building regulations - to see how well it was meeting the needs of disabled people.

It found that the key benefits of accessible housing included reduced delayed hospital discharges, avoiding having to pay for temporary and permanent residential care, reduced costs to the NHS in dealing with trips and falls, reduced costs of aids and adaptations, and lower administrative costs of rehousing disabled people from inaccessible housing.

But the report concluded that there were gaps in the evidence on "the cost and frequency of these benefits that arise from building accessible homes" and it added: "Further dedicated research to understand the benefits of more accessible housing is needed."

This MHCLG is reported to recently have refused to say when the research was completed and why its publication had been delayed for so long.

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Over half of English local housing policies still failing disabled & older people

Posted 15.01.21
Habinteg Housing Association: Further reading

Updated analysis of English 'local plans' shows the proportion of new homes to be built by 2030 to accessible standards fell from 34.4% in the 2019 analysis to 31.5% in the 2020 update.

new research update, A forecast for accessible homes 2020, analyses 324 English 'local plans', which set policies for the types of homes to be built over the next 10 years.

There are 14.1 million disabled people in the UK, and the population is ageing rapidly, yet just 9% of English homes currently provide even the most basic accessibility features.

The new Forecast for accessible homes, which follows on from Habinteg's first such exercise conducted in 2019, focuses on the proportion of homes required by each plan to meet either Building Regulations' Optional Standards for accessible and adaptable homes or wheelchair user dwellings.

The report also takes into account references to the older Lifetime Homes and Wheelchair Housing Design standards.

The analysis shows that while more of the homes due to be built in England are specified to the Building Regulations Optional Standards, the proportion specified under the older Lifetime Homes standard has halved from 12% in 2019 to 6% in 2020.

This means there will be just one new accessible home built in the next 10 years for every 77 people in the population, down from one for every 67 people in the 2019 analysis.

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Reporting on January 2021

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