Peterborough City Council has been praised by national campaigners for its approach to providing accessible homes to meet the long-term needs of people in Peterborough.
New data released by Habinteg shows that Peterborough City Council is among the top 10 councils in England for its 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 (or the Government’s new equivalent Part M Category 2) shows that Peterborough requires 20 per cent of houses on development sites of 15 or more dwellings to be built to Lifetime Homes standards.
The result is that 624 Lifetime Homes have been built in the past six years, making Peterborough one of the best areas in the country.
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 toilet 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 is 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.
“Most importantly our health, wellbeing and employment prospects are improved by having an accessible place to live. Our population is ageing too, so it makes total sense for Peterborough to consider the money that they can save in terms of social care and health spending by taking a more joined-up long-term view of housing.
“Currently 1.8 million disabled people across the country have an accessible housing need and just seven per cent of homes in England deliver the minimum access features to make them even visitable by disabled people.”
Habinteg is a national provider of affordable accessible homes and support services.