Disability news - adapting homes and offices

This week I was readopted as Secretary to the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Disability, and the APPG was alerted to a new government consultation on how to reduce the number of people losing their jobs due to ill health. 

The Government recognises that disabled people and those with long-term health conditions face an increased risk of falling out of work. Ministers are therefore looking at the best ways to support and encourage employers to take early action for employees with long-term health conditions and improve access to high-quality, cost-effective occupational health.

For small business owners, the cost of purchasing occupational health services can be prohibitive, making it difficult to make the required adjustments to retain a valued member of staff after a period of ill-health. The government wants to hear from people's views on the best options to reduce this cost for small to medium sized enterprises by co-funding the purchase of occupational health services.

Constituents may access the consultation documents and response form online using the link below. Please do let me know of your own views on these proposals so that I may reflect them in my own discussions with ministers.

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/health-is-everyones-business-proposals-to-reduce-ill-health-related-job-loss

HOUSING 

When looking at increasing and improving housing stock in the constituency, it is clear that we need to be designing and building lifetime homes that can be easily adapted as people's mobility and care needs change. I therefore tabled some parliamentary questions to Housing Minister, Kit Malthouse, to see how we are monitoring the provision of adaptable homes.The question and answer are below. 

 

Question:
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what recent estimate he has made of the number of Local Plans which include a requirement for new homes to be accessible and adaptable. (276602)

Tabled on: 12 July 2019

Answer:
Kit Malthouse:

At present, the Government does not collect this data. A recent report by Habinteg suggests that less than a third of all English local plans currently set specific requirements for a percentage of new homes to be built to accessible or adaptable standards.

We have strengthened policy in the revised National Planning Policy Framework, published in July 2018, so that local planning authorities are expected to put in place specific policies to address the housing needs of older and disabled people. We have also strengthened the policy approach to accessible housing by setting out an expectation that planning policies for housing should make use of government standards for accessible and adaptable housing.

The answer was submitted on 17 Jul 2019 at 16:47.