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Home House Housing - Home House Housing

Coalition formed to tackle lack of suitable housing

The Housing Made for Everyone (HoME) coalition calls on the next government to make all new homes accessible and adaptable.

The Centre for Ageing Better and nine organisations from across the housing and charity sectors are today warning of a crisis in the provision of suitable housing for older and disabled people as they launch a new coalition to campaign for accessible homes.

As parliament dissolved ahead of a general election, Housing Made for Everyone (HoME) has published an open letter calling on the next government to take greater action to secure housing suitable for all.

Recent 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. By 2030, projected figures suggest that there will be just one new accessible home built for every 15 people over the age of 65.

Previous commitments to consult on the mandatory building regulations for new homes have not been acted on. The HoME coalition is calling on the next government to urgently consult to ensure that all new homes are built to Building Regulations, Volume 1, M4, Category 2 standards, meaning that they have basic accessibility features that make them suitable for a range of occupants, and can be easily adapted to meet further requirements.

Anna Dixon, Chief Executive at the Centre for Ageing Better, which co-chairs the coalition, said: “Too many people are today living in homes that limit their independence, as we face a dangerous shortage of homes that are accessible and adaptable. Whilst it’s not inevitable, the likelihood is that most of us will experience disability or difficulties with activities of daily living at some point in our later life. And with more of us living for longer, this dire lack of accessible homes represents a ticking timebomb.

“Urgent action is needed to ensure we are building homes fit for the future, so that more of us are able to stay in our homes for longer and remain safe and independent. As we build the homes of tomorrow, it’s crucial that every brick laid today is part of the solution. Central government, local authorities and developers all have a role to play in ensuring that the homes of tomorrow are safe, well-designed and flexible.”

The HoME coalition has today launched a 7-step charter to transform new housing, including recommendations for central and local government, estate agents, and developers. The 7 steps (download below) include a higher regulatory baseline for accessibility of all new homes; better data on the availability of accessible homes; and bold policies on planning for accessible housing from Local Authorities.

Read: Centre for Ageing Better - New coalition formed to tackle lack of suitable housing