by Mojo Mathers
Social housing is an important means for providing affordable housing for those who are not able to afford private housing and fills a fundamental human right.
Currently there is a serious lack of accessible housing for disabled people or older people with mobility impairments, forcing people into unsuitable housing that doesn’t meet their needs.
Aging and mobility impairment are strongly linked. As we have an aging population, over the next 40 years, up to 45% of our elderly may need accessible housing.
Rebuilding or retrofitting houses to cater for this growing sector is an extremely expensive undertaking. There is a strong push in Christchurch for more accessible housing to allow for aging to take place without being forced to shift.
Currently Auckland council is considering ensuring 5% social housing are accessible, but this goal is woefully short of what is needed .
The government need to recognise access to accessible housing as a fundamental human right for disabled people and commit to ensuring new social housing is built to universal design principles .