Latest Public Sector News

11.12.19

New Scottish legislation to improve housing rights for disabled people

New regulation proposals have been launched by the Scottish government aiming to improve accessibility for those living with a disability in the communal areas around their home.

Under the newly announced proposals, people living with disabilities would be given the right to remove barriers to access by creating ramps, widening paths and installing handrails in common areas.

These changes are hoped to improve equality for those living with disabilities, though all potential works would only be sanctioned provided they have support of a majority of neighbours.

Under the current legislation, a disabled person requires consent of all owners in order to make minor accessibility changes to shared areas.

This helps combat any other individuals potentially withholding consent to make basic adaptations unreasonably.

Scottish housing minister, Kevin Stewart, said: “A home with the right support in the right place enables disabled people to live safely and independently, offering a sense of security and improving physical and mental wellbeing.

“This new legislation will widen equality for people living with a disability in Scotland by giving them the right to improve accessibility in shared areas at their home and challenge others from unreasonably withholding consent.

“A first in the UK, this will help achieve a fairer Scotland where disabled people have more equality and the choice, dignity and freedom to access suitable housing and live independently.”

The Relevant Adjustments to Common Parts Regulations were laid before Parliament and, subject to parliamentary scrutiny, are due to come into effect on February 24, 2020.

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