Accessible housing for all says EHRC

Under new government plans, every new home built in England will have to be designed to suit an ageing population.

Ministers want all new homes to include 16 features such as stairs wide enough for stairlifts, downstairs bathrooms, and room for wheelchairs to turn.

Builders have until 2010 to show they are adopting the standards, with the threat of compulsion from 2013 if not.  All new social housing built from 2011 will have to be built to the new "lifetime homes" standard, and the hope is that private sector houses will also meet it.

A spokesperson from the Equality and Human Rights Commission said:

“We strongly welcome the Government's announcement that all new housing will gradually be built to Lifetime Homes standards.”

“Our ageing society is changing the shape of households and their requirements, and housing design must change to reflect these if we are to prosper over the coming decades.  Accessible and adaptable housing is important in achieving equality and human rights for older, as well as disabled people. It is also likely to benefit carers because people will be able to live longer and stay out of costly residential care.”

“We also welcome the commitment to build 'lifetime communities', which have the potential to play a significant role in maintaining and promoting social cohesion in the years to come."

Posted by, Asif Yusuf



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