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New homes to become more accessible

03 August 2022

The government has published a plan to make newly built homes more accessible. The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) has published a long awaited response to its consultation on standards for new homes, which closed in December 2020.

DLUHC has committed to increasing the minimum accessibility standard for new build homes. It says this change will give “people the dignity and security they deserve in their homes”. 

The department stated that of the 400 responses to the consultation, 98% of people or organisations supported raising the accessibility standards of new homes. The most favoured options were the two that included mandating higher accessibility standards.

DLUHC also announced that a second consultation would be held “in due course,” covering the details of regulatory changes. This will include updates to statutory guidance and the circumstances where exceptions to applying the higher standard can be expected to apply.

Holly Holder, co-chair of the Housing Made for Everyone coalition (of which DR UK is a member), said: “We warmly welcome the government’s decision to raise the minimum accessibility standard as a positive step towards resolving the significant shortage of accessible and adaptable new homes in this country.

“Raising the standard of accessibility has the potential to change millions of lives, but only if executed well and with very limited exceptions to the way the revised regulation is applied. Homes with higher accessibility standards benefit everyone, particularly disabled people and older people, and disadvantage no one.”

Fazilet Hadi, Head of Policy at Disability Rights UK said “This is a positive step forward. We now need to ensure that new regulations drive higher accessibility standards and that exceptions are kept to a minimum.

Disability Rights UK asked that 10% of all new homes were built to wheelchair user standards. We will continue to make the case for this to be mandatory, rather than a discretionary decision for Local Authorities.”