Several housing associations have sent a joint submission asking the government to alter building regulations to improve the accessibility of housing.
Landlords are calling for M4 Category 2 to become the regulatory baseline standard for all new homes in England (picture: Getty)
Landlords are calling for M4 Category 2, which is similar to the Lifetime Homes Standard, to become the regulatory baseline standard for all new homes in England.
This would be stricter than the current standard for new homes in England and would require all new builds to make “reasonable provision for most people to access the dwelling”, including “features that make it potentially suitable for a wide range of occupants, including older people, those with reduced mobility and some wheelchair users”.
More than 15 housing associations and trade bodies have signed the joint submission to the government, including Longhurst Group, Habinteg, the National Housing Federation and the Chartered Institute of Housing.
Nic Bungay, director of strategy and external affairs at Habinteg, said: “The proportion of older people is growing rapidly and with that, the number of disabled people. Yet last year, our research saw over half of local plans had no requirement for accessible homes to be built in their area.
“If we fail to get this right now, we’ll be storing up a whole new kind of housing crisis for the future.
“As well as increasing people’s independence and well-being, building to an accessible and adaptable standard from the outset is extremely cost-effective.
“Compared to the high potential cost to public budgets when major adaptations or residential care are the only alternatives, raising the basic access requirements for all new homes on a national basis has to be the sensible strategic approach.”