Direct Access secures City of London housing accessibility contract

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The City of London Corporation has confirmed the appointment of award-winning disability accessibility consultancy Direct Access as the Access Consultants for the Corporation’s housing estates and sheltered housing schemes.

2,900 homes across 13 estates in Lambeth, Southwark, Tower Hamlets, Islington, Hackney and Lewisham will be part of the accessibility audit programme. Direct Access will evaluate the communal spaces within these estates, including parks, car parks, garages, pathways, and gardens.

The Direct Access team, all disabled people, will visit each estate in July and August undertaking a detailed audit to develop recommendations for access improvements.

“Access consultancy in residential environments is not just about physical access but how disabled residents can be part of an accessible and engaged community,” said Steve Dering, Operations Director for Direct Access. “When places are inaccessible this creates increased risks of people becoming housebound and do not engage in community activities. Housing can fall into disrepair for example through communication barriers, not understanding the process or anxiety. These in turn increases social isolation and increased risk of tenancy abandonment.”

“We are delighted to be working with the City of London to create housing communities drawing on the ideals of the Lifetime Homes Standard and Wheelchair Housing Guide, which are geared to ensure housing is suitable for people throughout their lives.”

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