“Accessibility requirements must become standard for new homes” – RIBA urges government to update the Building Regulations

Elmers End Footbridge

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has today responded to the government consultation on the accessibility of homes with an urgent request to ensure all new homes are accessible to meet the needs of the UK’s disabled and aging population.  

In response to the consultation, which proposes five different options for policy change, the RIBA urges the government to:

  • Mandate the current M4(2) requirement in Building Regulations to ensure all new homes meet minimum accessibility standards. This means no steps no steps between the pavement and the main entrance and more space to move around all areas of the home.1
  • Ensure all new accessible homes also meet Nationally Described Space Standards (NDSS) critical for health and wellbeing.  
  • Investigate the social impact and cost to mental health of not mandating accessible housing.

RIBA President, Alan Jones, said: “Across the UK, millions of people, particularly those who are older or disabled, live in homes that don’t meet their needs. England’s existing housing stock is simply not suitable for our ageing or disabled population – and new homes often offer nothing better. By 2025 the over 60s will make-up over 25% of England’s population2, and that number will grow. We need accessible homes built to Nationally Described Space Standards to meet the needs of our population. Our Building Regulations must be amended now to ensure all new housing is fit for future generations.”

Read the RIBA’s full consultation response here.