Bathroom solutions provider Age Care Bathrooms has expressed disappointment with politicians from all parties for failing to address the issue of accessible housing.

Ruils Independent Living, a disabled people’s organisation, organised a hustings in Richmond Borough focusing on housing, health care, education, and social services, covering both of the borough’s constituencies.

Key politicians who participated included Jonathan Hulley, Conservative candidate for Twickenham, Munira Wilson, Liberal Democrat MP for Twickenham, Chas Warlow, Green candidate for Richmond Park, and Philip Moshi, Twickenham Labour local campaigns coordinator.

During the event, Svetlana Kotova, Director of Campaigns and Justice for Inclusion London, sharply criticised the government’s inaction on improving accessibility standards for new homes. Her remarks echoed a recent parliamentary report that rebuked the government for failing to implement its flagship policy of raising the minimum accessibility level of all new-build homes to the M4(2) standard, announced nearly two years ago.

The Disabled People in the Housing Sector report from the House of Commons Levelling Up, Housing, and Communities Committee in May 2024 also condemned the government for neglecting the housing needs of disabled individuals. It pointed to long-standing waiting lists for accessible social housing and challenges with landlords refusing home adaptations. The report concluded: “We have found little evidence that the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities is prioritising the housing policy needs of disabled people.”

Sam Davies, Director of Age Care Bathrooms, stated: “As installers of mobility bathroom solutions, we see firsthand how the lack of accessible housing leaves the ageing and disabled population vulnerable. It’s impacting their quality of life and well-being.

“As a company that works day in day out with individuals and families impacted by these issues, we’re calling for immediate action to ensure every new home is accessible. We’d also like to see an overhaul of the Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) process for clarity and effectiveness.”