WWA took part in a fantastic HAPPI hour co-hosted with the Housing LIN on “Re-framing Retirement: Integrated Retirement Communities”. With retirement housing under the spotlight in a new Housing for Older People Taskforce, announced in the Levelling Up white paper, the HAPPI Hour session covered:
- An overview of how terminology can help the whole sector work together to meet the huge demand for better housing for older people
- First-hand experience of how integrating housing and health benefits local communities
- A holistic look at how building design in terms of sustainability, activity, and accessibility can lead to improved health for residents
- An assessment of how housing for older people can be integrated into the local community by looking beyond the building
The various speakers highlighted different aspects of Integrated Retirement Communities (IRCs)
Michael Voges, Chief Executive of ARCO kicked off the session by explaining how the term “integrated retirement community” was born through extensive customer research.
Planning Director, Ifti Maniar explored the minutia of planning categories and reiterated the need for a new subcategory to cover the IRC whilst also providing the latest on affordable housing contributions for the sector.
Johnathan Headland, Director of Urban Design, examined how can IRCs be integrated with Wider Communities through Urban Design. He used practical examples of well designed places and how designers should look beyond the red line.
Ewan Green, Associate, discussed Passivhaus: The Building Blocks for Integrated Well Being. He gave an insightful explanation on how Passivhaus designed buildings improve wellbeing through providing thermal/ acoustic comfort and improved air quality.
Nick Rees from Housing 21 elaborated on the Operator’s Perspective: How does an Integrated Lifestyle approach benefit residents with some thought provoking comments on the integration of people with dementia and BAME groups.
Simon Maggs, Hampshire County Council described how can IRCs help bridge the gap between health, social care and housing and provided an emotive case study of how IRCs can help to improve residents’ lives.
Kathryn Gundry, Associate closed the session highlighting the need to design for all and the multiple user base of an IRC. If you missed this fantastic event please get in touch and we can share a recording and slides with you.