Council '˜in the top ten' for accessible homes

Rother District Council has been praised for their approach to providing accessible homes.

Bexhill Town Hall SUS-160623-112311001
Bexhill Town Hall SUS-160623-112311001

New data released by Habinteg today shows that Rother District Council (RDC) is among the top 10 councils in England for their approach to accessible homes.

Information obtained by Freedom of Information requests asking all councils if they have planning policies to build to the accessible Lifetime Homes standard shows that Rother requires a proportion of all homes be built to Lifetime Homes Standard and that 412 Lifetime Homes have been built in the past six years, making it one of the best areas in the country.

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A Lifetime Home is an ordinary house or flat which is designed to be accessible and easily adaptable as the needs of the household change. The main features include wider doorways, level thresholds and a WC on entrance level with the capacity to be fitted with a shower if needed.

The standard also ensures that walls in the bathroom are capable of being fitted with grab rails, and that there’s enough circulation space to accommodate a visit from a person using a wheelchair.

Habinteg chief executive Paul Gamble said: “The benefits of accessible homes are not only experienced by disabled people. Whether you’re a couple with small children, retired, or you’re just looking to get the shopping in easily from the car or get a new sofa delivered, we all benefit from the features of inclusively designed homes. Our population is aging too, so it makes total sense for Rother to consider the money they can save in terms of social care and health spending, by taking a more joined up long term view of housing.”

A Rother District Council spokesman said: “We’re delighted to be named among the top 10 local authorities in the country for our approach to accessible housing.

“It’s essential that we have housing stock which meets future need, not just in terms of the number of homes but in their ability to meet standards of accessibility.

“By encouraging developers and housing associations to provide adaptable housing, we can help to reduce the cost to the taxpayer of health and social care in the long term. This is especially important in a district like Rother where we have a large proportion of older residents, for whom adaptable housing could help them continue to live in their own homes for longer.”

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