HAPPI SCHEMES IN THURROCK – JULY 2015
Good housing is important at every stage of life, but it becomes even more significant for older people. Housing plays a critical role in enabling older adults to live independently, as well as helping carers and health and social care services to support people in their own homes.
Thurrock is improving the housing choices available for older people by encouraging the development of new homes that are designed with older people in mind.
One scheme in Derry Avenue, South Ockendon is being built and when complete in November, will provide 25 new homes for older people. The scheme, which attracted government funding, is designed in accordance with the ‘HAPPI’ standard. ‘HAPPI’ is the abbreviation for a report produced by a panel of experts – Housing our Ageing Population Panel for Innovation which set out recommendations for design for housing for older people.
The Council has also secured Government funding for another HAPPI scheme of 38 flats in Calcutta Road Tilbury. We hope that these schemes will set high standards for new housing and will encourage people to think about where they might want to live when they are older. As well as wishing to develop further scheme the Council will also encourage private developers to build more housing that meets the need of our ageing population.
The HAPPI Report recommended a number of design features in all new housing for older people, these include:
1. generous internal space standards – so that space can be used flexibly
2. layouts that ensure there is plenty of natural light, both within the home and in communal space such as corridors
3. layouts that avoid single-aspect views, and which provide balconies, patios, or terraces with enough space for tables and chairs as well as plants
4. to ensure adaptability, homes are designed to be ‘care ready’ so that new and emerging technologies, such as telecare and community equipment, can be readily installed
5. building layouts that avoid an institutional feel’ and which include some shared spaces so that people can get to know their neighbours. This could include communal space for meetings and other activities.
6. attractively designed so that the development blends well with the surrounding area and the natural environment is nurtured through new trees and hedges and the preservation of mature planting
7. homes are energy-efficient and well insulated, but also well ventilated and able to avoid overheating
8. adequate storage is available outside the home together with provision for cycles and mobility aids, and that storage inside the home meets the needs of the occupier
9. care is given to pedestrians rather than cars so that visually impaired people can easily navigate their way home.
Anyone wanting to know more about these design recommendations, can read the HAPPI report: