Improving wheelchair access in housing
First step to tackling shortage of wheelchair accessible homes.
Local authorities will be required to provide wheelchair accessible housing across all tenures and report annually on progress.
Guidance published by the Scottish Government will help local authorities deliver this shared ambition from its Fairer Scotland for Disabled People delivery plan.
Welcoming the guidance, Minister for Local Government, Housing and Planning Kevin Stewart said:
“We are committed to delivering more homes that are accessible for wheelchair users to live in.
“I would like to thank the disabled people’s organisations that have contributed to the development of this guidance, which will provide local authorities with a greater focus and commitment to the delivery of wheelchair accessible housing across all tenures.
“Increasing the supply of wheelchair accessible housing across Scotland will provide more choice and flexibility for disabled people and their families and contribute to the creation of a fairer and more equal society.
“The houses that we build now will support this and future generations and will help to improve the experience of disabled people in accessing suitable homes in the areas they want to live.”
The development of the guidance has been a collaborative approach with the accessible housing group, which includes local authority representation and disability organisations such as Inclusion Scotland.
Dr Sally Witcher, CEO of Inclusion Scotland, said:
“We welcome this guidance as an important first step to addressing the shortage of wheelchair accessible housing in Scotland. I look forward to seeing this translate into a supply of housing that meets current and projected demand, across all tenures.
“This is essential to ending the social injustice inflicted on disabled people living in inaccessible homes that restrict their lives and life chances”
The Government’s Disability Delivery Plan, A Fairer Scotland For Disabled People, outlines five ambitions for Scotland which aim to aid independent living, and to safeguard decent incomes and fairer working lives. This includes removing the barriers to employment, improving accessibility, promoting active participation, and protecting the rights of disabled people.
The guidance will align with revised Local Housing Strategy guidance due for publication in the Summer, which will support local authorities to set out their strategic vision and priorities for the future of housing and housing related services.
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