A revolutionary vision to combat growing housing crisis
In a white paper published yesterday, Tata Steel and the Agile Ageing Alliance (AAA) announced a revolutionary vision of the UK housing market, paving the way for a new breed of homes to populate our ‘Neighbourhoods of the Future’.
The AAA report, made possible by Tata Steel, recommends a fundamental shift in the way housing development is considered in the UK. Rather than a series of rungs the consumer must climb, from starter home upwards, and then back down again in later life, buildings would be capable of adaptation – of morphing to support a growing family, and then adjusting to accommodate an ageing one. This vision of a home for life can only be achieved by looking at the needs of the occupant and how they change over time.
Neighbourhoods of the Future sets out to qualify what better actually looks like. Authored by pre-eminent cross-sector experts and thought leaders, including D4D, the report envisages the development of “smart” intergenerational age-friendly neighbourhoods. These neighbourhoods would comprise ‘cognitive homes’ which are affordable, sustainable, easier and more efficient to construct and be connected directly with the high-tech systems tailored to meet the diverse needs of an ageing population.
With the acceleration of new digital technologies designed to make lives easier and more connected, the report proposes a rethink about how the UK’s housing stock is financed, built and updated.
According to Professor Wendy Tindale OBE, who led the Perfect Patient Pathway NHS England Test Bed, and is Clinical Director of Devices for Dignity: “The NHS is a system under unprecedented strain. The need for a system-wide response and shared responsibility not only means investment and re-allocation of resources in the NHS, but also investment in future homes, communities and wider services. We need creative approaches to using assistive technologies, and to design services to meet the wide variety of circumstances, aspirations and needs of people as they age.”