Regulation and innovation: Rethinking 'inclusive' housing design
Milner, J. and Madigan, R. (2003) Regulation and innovation: Rethinking 'inclusive' housing design. Housing Studies, 19 (5). pp. 727-744. ISSN 0267-3037
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1080/0267303042000249170
The Lifetime Homes (LTH) concept initiated in 1989 by the Helen Hamlyn Trust, and subsequently promoted by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, emerged at a point when there was growing awareness of the decline of both private and public sector housing quality, especially in relation to floorspace standards (Karn & Sheridan, 1994). LTH were intended to offset the concerns of first, the house buying public of the appearance and affordability of homes suitable for successive generations, second, the private house building industry of the cost and marketability of incorporating 'inclusive' design features, and third, Registered Social Landlords (RSLs), who had to balance cost constraints with addressing the needs of a growing number of households with older and/or disabled people. Approved Document Part M of the building regulations was extended in 1999, from public buildings to private dwellings, and currently requires that all new housing meet minimal 'visitability' criteria. Indeed, although the signs are that Part M will be incrementally extended to comprise LTH principles, the paper argues that in their existing form they are insufficient to act as a key component of the government's 'new agenda for British housing'. This paper therefore explores how they might usefully be expanded from an approach, largely based on compromise, to one that inspires innovative, flexible and inclusive house forms, which also challenge design conventions.