DESIGNING WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBLE HOMES IN SE LONDON Dave Shiress SE London Housing Partnership
Agenda 1. National and regional context 2. Why we need wheelchair design guidelines (Jon Cowderoy, LB Southwark) 3. SE London Wheelchair Design Guidelines (Trevor Dodd, LB Greenwich) 4. Recent practice in Bromley (Martin Poole, LB Bromley) 5. Applications of wheelchair standards
National and regional context: national level (1) • Part M of Building Regulations – Disabled Access to and use of Buildings - ensures design of buildings does not involve physical barriers.
National and regional context: national level (2) BSI British Standards: BS 8300 Design of Buildings and their approaches to meet the needs of disabled people. (Last updated in 2009). Applies to all buildings, not just residential.
National and regional context: national level (3) Disability Discrimination Act 1995 • Emphasis on “reasonable adjustments” but no direct reference to housing design • 2005 amendments resulted in requirement of public bodies to have Disability Equality Schemes (Disability Equality Duty) – RSLs too!
National and regional context: national level (4) • Wheelchair Housing Design Guide – Stephen Thorpe and Habinteg Housing Association (2006) • This is referred to in the Housing Corporation’s Design and Quality standards 2007. Now used by the Homes & Communities Agency (HCA)
Lifetime Homes • These are 16 standards devised by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Habinteg HA. • Their implementation will make homes more flexible and more accessible – but they are not a substitute for wheelchair accessible housing
Lifetime Homes • “Required” of RSLs and affordable housing developers in the SE London Guide for RSLs and Developers • Assumes inclusion of lifts for social rented homes but not intermediate homes
National and regional context: London level In recent years planning policy and guidance relating to accessible housing has been issued by the GLA. e.g……….Lifetimes Homes are required in Point 12 of the Accessible London SPG. For more details: email@example.com
Draft Replacement London Plan Policy 7.2An Inclusive Environment • Development to achieve the highest standards of accessible and inclusive design. • Borough LDF preparation should develop detailed policies and proposals to ensure the principles of inclusive design are adopted at the earliest stages of the design process. • Planning decisions – applicants should demonstrate that they meet inclusive design principles (see CABE publications) • Access Statements should explain how the principles of inclusive design, including the specific needs of disabled people, have been integrated into the proposals, whether best practice standards have been complied with and how inclusion will be maintained and managed.
DRLP Policy 3.8Housing Choice • Londoners should have genuine choice of homes they can afford and that meet their requirements • LDF preparation – boroughs to identify range of needs and ensure that: • Development offers a range of choices in terms of mix of housing sizes and types, taking account of the housing requirements of different groups • All new housing is built to Lifetime Home standards • 10% of new housing is designed to be wheelchair accessible or easily adaptable for residents who are wheelchair users • Account taken of changing age structure of population, in particular the varied needs of older Londoners
advice on policy implementation explains difference between LTH and wheelchair user housing promotes the provision of more wheelchair accessible housing combat disability discrimination in both the private and social rented sectors provides detail on the key features in the SPG that make a home easily adaptable for wheelchair users includes technical information on design homes from the outset that are easy to adapt Best Practice Guide Wheelchair Accessible Housing
Applying wheelchair accessible housing 1. Personalisation 2. HOLD 3. Accessible Housing Register
Personalisation “Community Care” in the 70s and 80s signalled a shift away from holding people in institutional settings e.g. large hospitals For many this represented housing in ‘group homes’. The buildings were part of the community but an element of institutionalisation remained.
Personalisation As some group homes reach their sell by dates and as there has been greater emphasis on individuals have control over their own lives…. .. more people with disabilities have opted live independently.
Personalisation • Encouragement in ‘Putting People First’ (2007) • “direct payments”, “self directed support”, “person centred care” etc
HOLD HOLD = “Home Ownership for people with Long term Disabilities”. A scheme run by In Touch (part of Hyde HA) and funded by SE London boroughs since 2009.
HOLD 15 households have been assisted to move into New Build HomeBuy (shared ownership) homes. Many more are interested. This is a significant part of the market for wheelchair accessible intermediate housing.
HOLD • All 15 households are people on disability related benefits (long term) • Mortgages are arranged through MySafe Home and Support for Mortgage Interest (through Income support) covers the interest cost of the mortgage. • Housing benefit covers the rent, including for a full repairing lease.
HOLD For some households provision of a 2 bedroomed property allows for overnight care.
London Accessible Housing Register • A CLG/GLA funded project • Ultimate aim is to enable people with disabilities to make informed choices (e.g. through Choice Based Lettings) about where to live – including options for moving to other areas
London Accessible Housing Register • Priority is to categorise social rented properties • For more details contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Adaptations • For households requiring adaptations in order to properly access their home, inside and out, adaptations are needed. • These follow OT assessments and involve Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG). • DFGs are means tested but full cost is not met through government grant.
Finally, some key messages • There is a need for more wheelchair accessible homes in the social rented sector. • There is demand for wheelchair accessible homes in the intermediate and possibly the private sector. • Inadequate standards result in financial – and human – costs.