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Housing standards review missed a golden opportunity?

16 September 2014

Commenting on the Government's housing standards review: technical consultation, Habinteg Chief Executive Paul Gamble, said:

"As an organisation we want to see an increase in the supply of accessible housing and we are looking to the review to deliver this. We welcome the rigour with which the technical standards for the two new access categories have been drafted, based as they are on our Lifetime Homes Standard and Wheelchair Housing Design Guide. However the optional nature of these proposed standards is entirely insufficient to ensure an increase in the number of accessible, adaptable homes that our communities really need. As such we feel the review has missed a golden opportunity.

There is a chorus of voices now calling for Category 2 accessible adaptable homes to be the mandatory default for all new homes. The impact assessment estimates that 31% of new homes are currently built to Lifetime Homes Standard, expected to rise to 45% by 2024 if we did nothing. The Government will need to reassure the public that their proposals will indeed increase the supply of accessible homes to achieve at least this baseline.

There are ten interrelated documents to review now and we will be providing more detailed comment on this complex consultation in due course – it’s a lot of red tape to get through!”

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