Jul 20

Relaxing Planning Rules ‘Puts Accessible Homes At Risk’


A coalition of housing, ageing and disability charities have issued a warning that proposals to relax planning rules could create more problems for the existing shortage of accessible homes in the UK, homes that are safe and suitable for older and disabled people.

The Housing Made for Everyone (HoME) coalition is now calling on the government to resist calls to relax regulations in the wake of the coronavirus crisis, saying in an open letter that the pandemic has revealed just how important it is that people have homes suited to their needs.

If current plans are adhered to, by 2030 there will be one new accessible home built for every 15 people over the age of 65, despite the fact that the UK is facing a huge demographic age shift.

The coalition now wants the government to establish an accessible and adaptable design standard, to be used as the regulatory baseline for all new builds.

Anna Dixon, chief executive of the Centre for Ageing Better said: “Lack of accessible housing is a major problem in the UK, and we must not let the disruption of the COVID-19 crisis distract the government from its mission to build more suitable homes.

“The houses we build today will be with us for decades to come, so it is vital we build for the future – a future in which more of us will live to older ages.”

In fact, a new research has just been launched designed to help social landlords offer support to more of their residents and help them live independently in accessible homes.

Foundations, the national body for home improvement agencies, is investigating how housing associations and others could invest in home adaptations to help those tenants with sight loss and dementia, Home Care Insight reports.

The aim is to help more people carry on living independently in their own homes for as long as possible, with seven themes being explored, including the use of specialist staff, policies and protocols around adaptations, as well as seeing what support is currently being offered to tenants in moving home instead of having properties adapted.

If you’re thinking of adapting your home to make it more comfortable and ensure that you can continue living there for as long as possible, there are lots of changes you can make, both big and small.

Adjustable beds, for example, come with simple controls that can make it easier for you to get in and out of bed, while installing motion sensor lights mean you can reduce the chances of falling in the dark.

In the bathroom, you could opt for easy access baths or shower seats in the shower so you can walk straight in and sit down, also helping to prevent falls. If you’d like any further help or advice, get in touch with the Practical Bathing team today.

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