Accessible housing- what people want
Written by Angela May Published: 8 July 2019
An informal survey is highlighting that accessible housing is easy for developers to build, without adding any significant cost.
The survey reinforces findings from other recent reports, and growing calls for the Building Regulations Approved Document M Part 2 to become a legal compliance in newbuild developments.
Undertaken by Closomat, Britain’s leading manufacturer and provider of accessible toilet and bathroom fixtures, the survey asked disabled people what features they would want included in accessible homes.
Almost every respondent wanted level access and wheelchair-wide doorways. Other popular requests were a ground floor bathroom/toilet (ideally including a Closomat shower/ wash dry WC), height adjustable fixtures in the kitchen and bathroom, a wetroom in place of a bathroom and potential for inclusion of a ceiling track hoist between bedroom and bathroom/wetroom.
“Most of the things people want are already in the Lifetime Homes and Category 2 housing specifications, and actually cost nothing in the overall scheme of things to provide. Most new build houses have a downstairs cloakroom now too. All that is needed is a little thought at the design stage, to widen doorways and rethink layouts so a wheelchair can manoeuvre. Indeed, several respondents actually suggested open plan layouts, not only to ease manoeuvrability if in a wheelchair, but to enable enhanced interaction,” observes Robin Tuffley, Closomat marketing manager.
“In the drive to enable people to remain at home rather than moving into care, maybe housing developers need to simply address their design. Accessibility isn’t hard to build in, and, judging from what our respondent wants, it isn’t expensive to incorporate either.”
Editor note: Closomat survey conducted via Facebook, with a 10% engagement from 11,500 people