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Minor adaptations key to increasing the 7% of UK homes currently classed as accessible

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The UK needs a “joined-up approach” to upgrading housing stock that blends accessibility, energy efficiency and decarbonisation, a leading industry commentator has claimed.

Dr Richard Miller, founder of innovation consultancy Miller-Klein Associates Ltd, said that only about a third of England’s homes are reasonably energy efficient and almost none reach the highest standards required for future comfort.

With a health crisis waiting to happen as a result of such a high quantity of cold homes, he suggests relatively low-cost, minor adaptations, in combination with home repairs and retrofit, are a highly effective way of adapting existing housing stock to meet the needs of older people.

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Writing for the Centre for Ageing Better charitable foundation, he said that most of those suffering will be older, disabled or otherwise more vulnerable.

“Only 7% of UK homes are ‘accessible’, with wide doorways and access ramps for wheelchair users or ground-floor bathrooms and grip rails to help people with reduced mobility. And almost half a million people (475,000) are living without the adaptations they need.

“Yet relatively low-cost, minor adaptations, in combination with home repairs and retrofit, are a highly effective way of adapting our existing housing stock to meet the needs of older people. Improving the energy efficiency and accessibility of homes will help older people to live longer and more independent lives.”

Tags : accessible homesCentre for Ageing Better
Andrew Seymour

The author Andrew Seymour

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