The third HAPPI report was launched yesterday in the House of Lords – at the sort of charming but slightly surreal tea party that always makes you think of Alice in Wonderland. It’s nearly seven years since we produced the first HAPPI report (Housing our Ageing Population: Panel for Innovation) along with Pollard Thomas Edwards, which looked at design and how far we lagged behind our European counterparts. Things have changed since then, particularly in terms of design, and this latest report (Housing our Ageing Population: Positive Ideas) is full of great schemes 'at home' rather than from abroad.
But there is a long way still to go before the housing needs and wants of older people are properly addressed and, like its predecessors, HAPPI 3 makes recommendations for a wide range of stakeholders – from Government to each of us. Hot on the heels of the Housing and Planning Bill, a key message this time is for Government to broaden its housing horizons and promote housing types for a wide range of markets – rather than focus exclusively on starter homes and first time buyers.
The Housing Minister Brandon Lewis was there and made positive noises but, in a Mad Hatter moment, the nearest thing to a policy commitment was to say that he’s always liked bungalows…
The report is full of good stuff and is available here.