A consultation over the summer looks set to be the first part of a radical change to the structure of communal spaces outside disabled tenants’ homes.
The new policy - which comes from the government’s so-called ‘Equality Hub’ - aims to to make homes “safer and more accessible” according to the consultation.
The changes would be to communal areas of rented and leasehold homes and could include the installation of stairlifts, handrails and ramps.
Changes a disabled tenant could ask for include an allocated parking space near the entrance to their building, guide rails, and better lighting.
The government says the policy - which would expand the current Equality Act - would make it easier for disabled people to work, shop, and socialise, as well as making buildings safer for them in emergencies.
The consultation claims this shows that the “government provides the leadership needed in difficult times, and makes sure everyone is able to reach their full potential.”
The Equality Act already requires landlords to make or permit reasonable adjustments inside disabled people’s homes.
Disabled people and landlords can apply to their local authority for the Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG), which would contribute towards the cost of adapting an eligible person’s home, including to the common parts of a building. Local housing authorities also have a statutory duty to provide home adaptations for those who qualify for a DFG.
Equalities minister Kemi Badenoch says: “Being able to safely and easily leave one’s home - to go to work, grab milk from the shops, or to meet a friend for a coffee - is something many of us take for granted. But for disabled people this can be a difficult, demotivating, and sometimes impossible challenge.
“This policy would ensure every disabled tenant has the right to ask for changes to where they live, so they can access and leave their homes without fear or difficulty.
“We want to hear the views of everyone impacted by our plans, to make sure we can make lasting change to people’s lives.”
You can see more details of the consultation here.