FOI Request - Disability Friendly Housing

Request 101000258890

Please find below a number of questions relating to disability friendly housing to be considered under the Freedom of Information Act.

In response to the questions below marked with a star [*], please include figures for both publicly and privately funded/owned properties if possible, and specify which you are providing if both figures are not available.

Where we refer to ‘disabled people’, we are referring to the definition included in the Equality Act 2010:

“You’re disabled under the Equality Act 2010 if you have a physical or mental impairment that has a ‘substantial’ and ‘long-term’ negative effect on your ability to do normal daily activities.”

Where we refer to ‘supported living’ we are referring to: housing for people with a disability (which the tenant rents or owns) with support options available and provided by the same, or a separate organisation.  This would not include residential care services and or “shared lives” (adult placement) schemes.

1. What progress has your local authority made towards increasing the rate of new house building in line with the National Outcomes as determined by the Scottish Government?

a. What measures were taken to ensure that new houses are accessible/ suitable for disabled tenants?

b. What measures were taken to ensure that new houses are on accessible public transport routes?

2. How many new homes were built this year, and in each of the previous three years in your local authority?

3. Have you undertaken any analysis of the need for accessible homes in your area?

a. If so, please provide the figures for the last three years, or the latest figures available if they pre-date 2011/12.

4. How many disabled people, broken down by disability type if possible, are there currently on your housing waiting list?

5. How many disabled people, broken down by disability type if possible, were there on your housing waiting list at the end of each of the last three years?

6. *How many wheelchair accessible properties[1] were built this year, and in each of the last three years?

7. *How many homes meeting Lifetime Homes Standards[2] were built this year, and in each of the last three years?

8. *What proportion of homes in the area covered by your local authority are currently:
a. Built to wheelchair accessible standards?
b. Built to Lifetime Homes standards?

9. Do you currently provide an accessible housing register, or similar document?

a. If so, how many accessible properties are currently on the register?

Response 08-07-2014

1. The Council has continued to plan positively to support house building. The Moray Local Plan 2008 and the emerging new Local Development Plan both include long term housing designations which provide a 20 year supply of land for housing. The Council has maintained a 5 year effective housing land supply as required by Scottish Planning Policy and in the event of a shortfall, land would be brought forward from the long term designations.

a. New houses built have to conform with Building Standards and the access requirements within them. The Proposed Plan which was recently out for consultation includes a new policy on Accessible Housing/ Housing Mix which is aimed at providing more accessible housing, including wheelchair accessible housing and looking to address the ageing population and the aim of longer term care being provided in the home.  

Building Regulations require all new dwellings to meet a minimum standard regarding access and circulation that is suitable for all persons including disabled therefore all proposals for building warrant will be verified to ensure compliance.

b. The Council's Transportation section are consulted on Local Plan designations and on planning applications and aim to encourage well connected developments which are on the public transport network. However, Moray is a rural area and public transport is limited.

2.  Past completion figures are;

2009- 192 houses
2010- 431
2011- 418
2012- 342
2013- 315

The above figures are from the Annual Housing Land Audit

2011/12 – 385
2012/13 – 362
2013/14 – 266

The above figures are where Building Standards have issued Completion Certificates.  The above figures would be more accurate although there may be homes occupied without completion.

3. This information is exempt under Section 25 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002; information otherwise accessible. The need for accessible housing has been assessed in the Housing Need and Demand Assessment 2011, which was appraised as “robust and credible” by the Scottish Government on 12 September 2011.  The information is available here.

4. The Council’s Allocations Policy does not require applicants to be disabled in terms of the Equality Act 2010 to receive priority under its Medical Assessment process, which considers the impact of any medical need on and individuals housing need.  It is not possible to disaggregate data by disability type.  On 18 June, the following Medical Assessments had been completed:

Medical Assessment on 18 June 2014         No of applicants         %
No medical assessment                                       3028               80.06%
CATEGORY A                                                       6                 0.16%
CATEGORY B                                                     29                 0.77%
CATEGORY C                                                   129                 3.41%
CATEGORY D                                                   397                10.50%
CATEGORY E                                                   193                  5.10%
Total                                                                 3,782              100.00%

5. This information is not held and is therefore exempt under Section 17 of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.  It is not possible to disaggregate data by disability type.  Historic data is not available.

6. Moray Council’s affordable housing new build programme has completed the following:

Town                  2011/12         2012/13           2013/14            Total units
Buckie                                             4                    2                          6
Elgin                         5                     3                                                8
Forres                                                                   2                          2
Keith                                               4                                                4
Total units                 5                   11                    4                        20

7. Lifetime Homes Standards apply in England.  The Scottish equivalent is Housing for Varying Needs.  In Moray all of the affordable rented housing built comply with Housing For Varying Needs as a condition of public funding.

Town                    2011/12         2012/13         2013/14           Total units
Buckie                      6                    44                   16                     66
Elgin                       16                    64                                            80
Forres                                                                   24                     24
Keith                                              14                                            14
Lossiemouth                                   10                                            10
Total units               22                  132                   40                   194

These figures are for council new build only.

8.a.In the affordable rented sector, approximately 10%.

b. In the affordable rented sector, 100%.

9. Moray Council does not currently provide an accessible housing register.  Housing list applicants are assessed under our Allocations Policy and Medical Assessment process.  Details are available here.
The Moray Housing Options Guide includes a section on “Housing Options for People with Disabilities, available here.

a. N/A

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