Pincher’s ‘future fit’ homes competition smells like government gimmick

WE might not be able to solve today’s chronic housing crisis, but at least we can hold a competition to design “homes fit for the future”.

Well, that’s one way of looking at the Government’s latest housing wheeze; whether these tomorrow-land homes will be affordable is another matter.

Housing minister Christopher Pincher announced the competition yesterday to “attract the best and brightest talents” in the housing industry.

The challenge is to come up with low carbon homes that meet the needs of an ageing population, using the technology and the “latest innovations” to improve their quality of life.

“This competition will harness all that technology has to offer to bring in a housing revolution: new low carbon homes that deliver low energy bills and independent living for older generations,” Pincher said.

Small businesses, designers and manufacturers are all invited to come forward with ideas for new low carbon, homes that push the “highest standards” of age-adaptable design, so that as people grow older, they are supported in living independent, fulfilling lives.

Applicants will submit an outline design for homes that are:

  • Age-friendly and inclusive – appealing to a variety of age groups and adaptable to how needs will change as people become older
  • Low environmental impact – applying technology and construction techniques to deliver net zero carbon emissions
  • Healthy living – promoting better health and wellbeing, such as through access to green spaces and communal areas
  • Deliverable and scalable – homes that can be rolled-out across the country

The competition will see three finalists given the opportunity to partner with developers to deliver homes on a site owned by Homes England.

“Levelling up environmental standards in new housing across the country is essential to end our contribution to climate change,” said Kwasi Kwarteng, minister for clean growth and energy.

“This Government is also investing over £6 billion to improve the energy efficiency of existing homes, and during this Year of Climate Action we plan to go further to decarbonise buildings, with low carbon heating central to that.”

Minister for Care, Helen Whately added: “We want everyone, regardless of age, to live healthier, more independent lives. I’m looking forward to seeing great ideas for homes that will meet people’s needs with older age, and be somewhere you would have pleasure in living.”

To enter the competition, visit the Home of 2030 website. The first phase of the competition will run until Wednesday, 15 April 2020.

NH

 

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