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  • Department for Levelling-Up, Housing and Communities announces that the accessibility standards for all new homes will be raised.
Department for Levelling-Up, Housing and Communities announces that the accessibility standards for all new homes will be raised.

Today (29th July 2022), the Department for Levelling-Up, Housing and Communities announced that the accessibility standards for all new homes will be raised.

This is a huge milestone for everyone who has campaigned for greater accessibility in the UK housing market and follows a consultation that ran from 8th September 2020 – 1st December 2020.

We discussed this consultation (which considered how to raise accessibility standards and recognise the importance of suitable homes for older and disabled people) in a previous article: https://www.franceandassociates.co.uk/thoughts-and-insights/raising-accessibility-standards-for-new-homes

Responses to the consultation were significantly in favour (98% of respondents) of raising the minimum accessibility standard of new homes.

Under the new guidance, all new homes will be expected to meet the “Accessible and Adaptable” standard, which includes step free access to all entrance level rooms and facilities, as well as further features to make homes more accessible and adaptable over time – enabling older people and those living with disabilities to live independently.

As discussed in our previous article, “The wider value of an adapted home”, by investing in adaptations, older people and those living with disabilities have seen a vast improvement in their mobility, well-being and wider physical health.

For many people, even the simplest of adaptations have helped them feel less isolated, and made simple tasks, such as cooking in the kitchen easier. The focus on ‘future-proofing’ homes for successive generations also saves the costs associated with moving or adapting homes.

Wheelchair accessible homes

Although the announcement has been acknowledged as a milestone in the campaign for accessible homes in the UK, it has failed to give direction on the appropriate provision of wheelchair accessible homes.

Habinteg are strongly encouraging Local Planning Authorities to use the opportunity to focus their resources on planning fully wheelchair accessible homes across the UK to meet the growing need.

Following the announcement, a second consultation will be carried out in due course. It will cover the detail of the regulatory changes, including updates to statutory guidance as well as the circumstances where exceptions to applying the higher standard will apply.

At France + Associates, we are experts in future proofing homes, and design homes that are adaptable to any possible changes, to enable you to stay in your home for as long as possible.

For more information, please do not hesitate to contact our team: 01484 960560 | admin@franceandassociates.co.uk.

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