The Housing LIN is pleased to be one the founding members of Housing Made for Everyone (HoME).
Launched on 5 November 2019, this coalition for accessible homes is made up of 10 organisations.
Co-chaired by the Centre for Ageing Better and Habinteg, HoME is warning of a crisis in the provision of suitable housing for older people and those with disabilities by 2030. In particular, recent Habinteg research showed that less than half of local housebuilding plans in England included provision for accessible homes. Meanwhile the number of households headed by someone aged 65 and over has increased by more than a million since 2010/11. And by 2030, projected figures suggest that there will be just one accessible home for every ten people over the age of 75.
To address the lack of accessible housing, HoME has set out its’ demands in a seven point charter, as follows:
- We believe that central Government should set a higher regulatory baseline for accessibility of all new homes (M4 Category 2), and, where need can be demonstrated for M4 Category 3 (wheelchair user), the Government should lower the current high bar needed to introduce relevant planning policies. This will provide a level policy playing field across the country and the certainty that developers want, enabling them to build homes that meet the future needs of our ageing population.
- Central Government should collate and make publicly available data from every planning authority on the number of new homes built to each of the Categories set out in Approved Document M4 Volume one (access to and use of buildings), alongside sufficiently resourcing planning authorities to effectively monitor this.
- Local Authorities should be bold and confident in their planning policies for accessible housing, utilising MHCLG guidance and best practice approaches to evidencing need.
- Homes England, in line with action already taken by the Greater London Authority, should give priority to current development bids for homes that meet M4 Category 2 standards. These should also include a number of Category 3 wheelchair accessible properties. If necessary, the additional costs should be recognised in the Value for Money assessment and grant awarded for affordable housing.
- Local Authorities should review and keep up to date with the accessibility of housing in their area in preparation for an accessible housing database that will make finding the right home easier for people with specific requirements.
- Estate Agents and their membership body ARLA should work with the Government and others to create and deliver standard accessibility ratings, similar to the environmental rating, which is displayed for every home sold.
- The home building industry should join our call for legislative change for higher accessibility standards. They should proactively seek out good practice among their members and disseminate this widely to encourage greater engagement from members who don’t yet see accessible homes as good business.