Aspire has received responses from three candidates following our briefing that was sent to all candidates for the Mayoral election about wheelchair accessible housing in London. Boris Johnson’s Policy Director has responded on behalf of the Conservative Party candidate, Ken Livingstone has responded directly and Jenny Jones’s Press Officer has responded on behalf of the Green Party candidate.
In our document, Aspire called on the London Mayoral candidates to use their power and influence to:
- Adopt wheelchair accessible housing as a strategic priority
- Address the shortage of homes for wheelchair users in London by building more wheelchair accessible housing
- Improve allocation rates of wheelchair accessible properties to wheelchair users
- Promote the design of neighbourhoods that are inclusive to all in society.
Wheelchair Accessible Housing as a strategic priority
Boris Johnson recognises that it is essential to build homes that better reflects the needs of Londoners and highlights the fact that people are living longer as a reason for this.
Ken commits to adopting wheelchair accessible housing as a strategic priority.
More Wheelchair Accessible Housing
Ken Livingstone commits to re-state his priority if elected to have 10% of all new housing to be suitable for wheelchair users.
Jenny Jones pledges that if elected, she will commit to making 15% of the 15,000 homes per year she aims to build will be wheelchair accessible.
The response from Boris’ team talks about supported housing and the commitment to build 1,800 more supported homes in this investment round.
Improve Allocation of Wheelchair Accessible Properties
Boris Johnson recognises that improving allocation is an issue and will look into this area if elected in his second term as Mayor.
Ken Livingstone has committed to appointing a disability advisor who will be a disabled person. This person will be tasked by Ken to see if the Mayor’s office can work jointly with local authorities to improve allocation.
Promote Inclusive Design
Jenny Jones will set targets to bring the whole of London to a minimum standard and look into ways that crime and poor accessibility can be designed out. She will promote access to nature. She will make all bus stops accessible by 2018 and review bus driver training. She also pledges to make a third of all tube stations step-free by 2018.
Boris Johnson commits to making more tube stations step-free and expanding accessible bus stops to 70% of the network by 2013.
Ken Livingstone highlights his achievement in introducing the London Plan, which promotes neighbourhood designing that is inclusive to all. He states his belief that meeting the needs of disabled people fully is fundamental within the planning system and if re-elected will continue to do his utmost to promote this.
Aspire is a leading charity, supporting the 40,000 people living with Spinal Cord Injury in the UK through a range of services.
Every eight hours in the UK someone is paralysed by a Spinal Cord Injury; it can happen to anyone at anytime and no one is prepared for how it will change their life. Aspire exists because there is currently no cure for Spinal Cord Injury. We provide practical help to people who have been paralysed by a Spinal Cord Injury, helping them move from injury to independence.
The services that Aspire provides are Aspire Grants, Aspire Housing, Independent Living, Assistive Technology, Campaigning and Research.