Less than 3 per cent of social housing in Flanders suitable for people with reduced mobility
Only 2.39 per cent of social housing is suitable for individuals with reduced mobility or wheelchair users, while almost half of tenants are aged over 60. This was reported by De Standaard using figures requested by Flemish MP Katrien Schryvers (CD&V) from Housing minister Matthias Diependaele (N-VA).
In 2021, the percentage of social houses suitable for people with reduced mobility was 2.24 per cent. Although 339 additional homes were added in 2022, the percentage only increased to 2.39 per cent.
"The number of tenants aged over 60 is consistently rising," Schryvers said. "With 71,874 social tenants falling into this category in 2022, they now constitute 49.2 per cent of all tenants in the social housing market."
Pascal De Decker, professor emeritus of architecture at KU Leuven, called the situation a "complete mismatch" and called for a proactive solution in the form of mandatory quotas for adapting houses to accommodate wheelchair users.
Diependaele is reluctant to impose quotas, however. "There is already considerable variation in the field," he said. "It's preferable to entrust these decisions to the local autonomy of housing companies, as they have the best understanding of the situation."
#FlandersNewsService | © PHOTO AGE FOTOSTOCK