Habinteg 50 years

Celebrating half a century of championing accessible housing, Habinteg was joined by celebrities and influential political figures as it marked the occasion with an interactive online event.

The event brought together tenants, parliamentarians and disabled campaigners, as well as sector and celebrity guests. They included event host and chair of Habinteg’s 2020 essay competition judging panel, Lord Jamie Borwick, Baroness Celia Thomas of Winchester, and winner of the 2018 Britain’s Got Talent (BGT) TV show, comedian Lee Ridley – AKA Lost Voice Guy.

The charitable housing association specialising in accessible housing also got a special mention on Twitter from Housing Minister Rt. Hon Christopher Pincher MP.

Advertisement | Continue story below

“Congratulations to @Habinteg on celebrating 50yrs of building accessible homes and communities – I hope you look forward to another 50. The Government is working to deliver more accessible homes and I encourage everyone to respond to our consultation,” he tweeted.

Participating in the virtual event, popular comedian and BGT winner Lee also supported Habinteg’s #ForAccessibleHomes week in September.

Discussing the design of his own home and access at comedy venues, he said: “My home doesn’t have many adaptations at all. I was lucky enough to find somewhere that suited my needs, but I realise this is rarely the case for most people.

“I got involved with #ForAccessibleHomes because I know just how important it is to make the world a more accessible place. It’s vital that campaigns like this are highlighted as much as possible.”

- 50th online event group pic, from left: mash up of Lee Ridley, Lord Borwick, Baroness Thomas & chair of Habinteg’s board Manny Lewis.
50th online event group pic from left: Lee Ridley, Lord Borwick, Baroness Thomas & chair of Habinteg’s board Manny Lewis.

The virtual event was a joint celebration with Habinteg’s specialist access team, the Centre for Accessible Environments (CAE), who support clients to create and manage built environments that everyone can use, and train the next generation of inclusive design specialists.

Habinteg used the virtual event as a platform to announce the winter of its 2020 prize essay competition, which saw entrants, including disabled people and students, submit essays considering what the next 50 years might bring in the realm of accessibility.

Competition winner, Kathryn Thomas, a recently qualified architect, received a £2,500 cash prize and the opportunity of a week-long placement with CAE. Two £500 runner-up prizes went to university students Clare Bond and Catalina Morales Maya.

Lord Borwick said: “The Habinteg 2020 Prize competition is a great opportunity to uncover some truly insightful ideas for accessible homes and communities of the future.

“We must ensure that the many places that are inhospitable to large numbers of disabled people in the built environment, not least the majority of homes that are already built, are truly accessible and inclusive.”

The event also acknowledged Habinteg’s Lockdown Angels – tenants from around the country who have gone above and beyond to help people in their community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

They included Jermain Jackman, winner of The Voice UK 2014, who delivered a socially distanced community concert to boost morale.

Jermain Jackman said: “Whenever I’m down or upset, I tend to turn to music to find comfort and when we went into lockdown, around April/May, a lot of people were down.

“One of the things that would bring the community together is clapping for NHS workers. I saw that sense of community and I wanted to bring joy and some comfort to my local residents.”

Habinteg’s Director of Strategy & External Affairs, Nicholas Bungay, said: “Our thanks to all who attended our event and made it so enjoyable. As we enter our sixth decade, Habinteg will continue to create accessible and inclusive homes and communities that promote disabled people’s independence.

“We encourage others to champion accessible housing by supporting the establishment of the accessible and adaptable standard as the baseline for all new homes across England and to call for that in a response to the Government’s open consultation on raising accessibility standards for new homes.”

The event comes as Habinteg, along with several other influential third sector organisations in the Housing Made for Everyone (HoME) coalition, recently called on the public to respond to the Government’s open consultation on raising accessibility standards for new homes.

The consultation is examining how to best increase the number of accessible homes in England and what changes to policy and regulations, relating to the optional technical standards for accessible housing, would achieve the biggest impact. It closes on 1 December 2020.

Recently, a survey by the Centre for Ageing Better revealed the key barriers to more accessible homes being made available, with a substantial number of local authorities pointing to push back from housing developers as a primary factor.

THIIS ROUND-UP
Join the 2,500+ mobility professionals who stay informed with THIIS' twice-weekly industry updates.
We respect your privacy
https://i1.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/50th-online-event-group-pic.png?fit=1024%2C564&ssl=1https://i1.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/50th-online-event-group-pic.png?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1Calvin BarnettHousingNewsroomSector NewsThird Sector#ForAccessibleHomes,accessible homes,accessible housing,Britain's Got Talent,Centre for Ageing Better,consultation,essay competition,Habinteg,housing developers,Jermain Jackman,Lee Ridley,Lord Borwick,Lost Voice Guy,The Voice UKCelebrating half a century of championing accessible housing, Habinteg was joined by celebrities and influential political figures as it marked the occasion with an interactive online event.The event brought together tenants, parliamentarians and disabled campaigners, as well as sector and celebrity guests. They included event host and chair of...News, views & products for mobility, access and independent living professionals