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Housing: Standards

Volume 479: debated on Monday 1 September 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will incorporate accessible housing standards into her definition of sustainable communities. (219797)

Accessible housing is already reflected in our current definition of a sustainable community which includes a place that is inclusive to all and meets the diverse needs of all residents. Our commitment to this is reflected in our national planning policy in Planning Policy Statement 3 (Housing) which is clear about creating places, streets and spaces which are inclusive and respect the diverse needs of communities and the special needs of particular sectors of the community.

In February 2008, we published, “Lifetime Homes. Lifetime Neighbourhoods: A National Strategy for Housing in an Ageing Society”, which sets out a clear strategy for encouraging the development of ‘Lifetime Homes Standards’ (LHS). LHS aim to make housing accessible for all by making it more functional for everyone including families, disabled and older people and adaptable to peoples changing circumstances throughout the whole lifetime of the home. Our aspiration is to see all homes built to Lifetime Homes Standards by 2013 and we will ensure that all publicly funded housing is built to Lifetime Homes Standards by 2011. It is currently a mandatory element of the Code for Sustainable Homes at code level 6 and will become mandatory at code levels 4 and 5 from 2010 and code level 3 from 2013. We will continue to work with stakeholders to encourage take up of the standards across all sectors and progress will be reviewed in 2010.