chapter  3
Housing quality, standards and the domestic environment
Pages 21

While access regulations and codes are increasingly commonplace in relation to facilitating disabled people’s entry to and use of public buildings, less has been achieved in relation to private (for sale) dwellings. This is due in large part to the market nature of the interrelationships between producers (builders) and consumers, in which the transaction, or sale of the dwelling, is conceived of as the expression of the free will or choices of both parties. Governments have been reluctant to intervene in such transactions, and have tended to provide voluntary guidelines relating to good practice. Since the late 1980s, however, legislation, most notably in England and Wales and the USA, is requiring builders to design and construct dwellings to minimum standards of accessibility. Thus, the Fair Housing Amendment Act (FHAA, 1988) in the USA, and Part M (DETR, 1999a) of the building regulations in England and Wales, represent the most far-reaching (if limited) legislative responses to the dwelling needs of disabled people.