Two wheelchair users from Milton Keynes to meet with Housing Minister to demand more accessible homes

Two disabled Milton Keynes residents are meeting the Housing Minister tomorrow (Wednesday) to discuss the lack of accessible housing.

Tuesday, 7th July 2020, 11:29 am
Updated Wednesday, 8th July 2020, 10:46 am

Kerry Thompson and Chris Hicken are have an online meet-up with Chris Pincher MP and will be demanding answers on why there is such a shortage of suitable homes for disabled people across the country.

The two wheelchair users fear that new laws to ease planning restrictions could result in the accessibility of homes being ignored.

Kerry said: “We’ve been waiting on a consultation to improve the accessible housing situation in this country for over a year. Even though this meeting is a positive step in the right direction, we urgently need to begin this consultation to make sure the needs of disabled people are heard and met.”

Kerry Thompson

Chris said: “Wednesday is an opportunity for us to ask the questions many disabled people have been wondering. The accessible housing landscape in the UK is unacceptable and something needs to be done soon to improve this.

"We hope by sharing our experiences and those of other disabled people, the Minister will see how important a suitable home is. With new laws that aim to ease planning regulations, I fear that the accessibility of homes

may be overlooked. We need to understand what measures are in place to ensure this is not the case.”

The meeting will be used as an opportunity to urge the Minister to launch the public consultation on accessible housing standards, which was promised by the government more than one year ago.

Kerry and Chris have been campaigning through Habinteg housing association. Habinteg is a leading national provider of affordable accessible homes and support services. They champion inclusion by providing sustainable neighborhoods of Lifetime Homes and wheelchair standard properties for disabled and non-disabled people to share and enjoy.

An Insight Report by Habinteg last year revealed just 1 per cent of homes to be built outside London by 2030 are set to be wheelchair accessible properties.

Nicholas Bungay, Director of Strategy and External Affairs at Habinteg, said: “Firstly, I’d like to give a huge thank you to Liz Twist MP for arranging this meeting with Chris Pincher MP. Chris and Kerry have been campaigning with us for quite some time now and it will be helpful for the Minister to hear their first hand housing experiences as wheelchair users.”