The HAPPI principles are based on 10 key design criteria. Many are recognisable from good design generally - good light, ventilation, room to move around and good storage - but they have particular relevance to the spectrum of older persons' housing which needs to both offer an attractive alternative to the family home, and be able to adapt over time to meet changing needs.
Space and flexibility
Daylight in the home and in shared spaces
Balconies and outdoor space
Adaptability and 'care ready' design
Positive use of circulation space
Shared facilities and 'hubs'
Plants, trees, and the natural environment
Energy efficiency and sustainable design
Storage for belongings and bicycles
External shared surfaces and 'home zones'
The 2009 report by the Housing our Ageing Population Panel for Innovation contains case studies with details of design features and provide some information about how the schemes are integrated with the wider community.
View the HAPPI report to find out recommendations made by the authors to design housing for older people.
In 2012, the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Housing and Care for Older People held an inquiry to consider progress towards the adoption of the recommendations and the design criteria set out in HAPPI. Their report discovered what more could be done to scale up the provision of new forms of housing to accommodate the demand of an ageing UK population. To emphasise the focus on delivery, the APPG has called this report, Housing our Ageing Population: Plan for Implementation - HAPPI.
In 2015, a new APPG Housing and Care for Older People Inquiry - 'Making Retirement Living A Positive Choice' - appointed an expert panel and held 4 inquiry sessions with industry leaders to ascertain best and innovative practice, exploring different service options and advocating for improvement in standards and practice in the management of retirement properties. View HAPPI3 to find out more about the terms of reference.
In June 2016, the APPG launched its resultant findings in '
Housing our Ageing Population: Positive Ideas' (or HAPPI 3). The report contains recommendations for providing greater choice and control in housing for older people and ways in which Government policy and actions by house builders and other stakeholders can make a difference.
In April 2018, the All Party Parliamentary Group on Housing and Care for Older People published its inquiry findings into 'Rural Housing for an Ageing Population: Preserving Independence' (or HAPPI 4). It warns that growing numbers of older people in rural areas will face a 'huge challenge to their independence and well-being' as their homes become unsuitable. By 2039, nearly half of rural households will be aged over 65, while the gap between the average age in rural and urban areas continues to widen.
HAPPI 4 states policy makers must "recognise the growing housing needs of older people in the countryside". Amongst a series of recommendations, the Inquiry calls for the creation of extra care housing 'hubs' in rural areas to bring services for an ageing population together into a single space, while recommending that every Local Plan contains specific sites for new housing of older people, including much needed housing solutions developed by rural landowners, local councils, housing associations, community land trusts and/or almshouses.
Over recent years the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Housing and Care for Older People has looked at the housing needs and opportunities for older people, producing a series of Inquiry reports on Housing for an Ageing Population, known as HAPPI.
Because the great majority of those over pension age are owner-occupiers (including leaseholders), previous reports have concentrated on the people in this tenure. Homeowners have the advantage of some equity in their property – a lot in some areas, not much in other places – and this can be used to pay for a “rightsizing” move or for making their current home more comfortable.However, what about the needs of older renters? In the latest APPG report,
Rental Housing for an Ageing Population, the inquiry considered those older people who are tenants, renting in either the social or private rented sector (PRS).
A Design for Life: Urban practices for an age-friendly city
A guide, co-authored by Pozzoni Architecture, for architects, planners, developers and policy-makers about their role in addressing the changing needs and aspirations of an ageing society.
9 ‘seniors’ schemes shortlisted for 2021 Housing Design Awards
Design for Homes reveal that 9 of the 64 developments shortlisted for the year’s Housing Design Awards are specifically age-designated schemes with a further 5 incorporating housing for older people as part of their larger residential plans.
Why city living for people in later life chimes
This Housing LIN case study (No 161) features Lifestory's (formerly PegasusLife) new retirement living development in Westminster, Chimes, in earshot of the bells of Westminster Abbey and Big Ben.
HAPPIness: Lord Best writes
Ten years on, after five significant reports, annual HAPPI Design Awards, this first ever HAPPI Awareness Week next week, and hard work from our APPG on Housing and Care for Older People, are we winning? Is there now a widespread acceptance of the value to older citizens, younger families, and to the NHS and social care providers, of creating tens of thousands of purpose-built age-friendly new homes?
Designing homes and neighbourhoods post-COVID
This advice note by Ben Kochan in this month’s Placemaking Resource includes comments by the Housing LIN’s Jeremy Porteus on Lifestyle changes since lockdown, It highlights the need to design homes and neighbourhoods with more space for working and local services nearby.
Home is where everything is
In this new guest blog for the Housing LIN, Julia Wigzell of the Pretty Good Project, explores the true impact home design has on our lives, and the opportunity for us to re-evaluate standards and design principles of age-friendly housing and designs at home post COVID-19.
Like many people all over the world right now, I’m staying at home
In this new guest blog for the Housing LIN, Julia Wood, Co-Founder of Invisible Creations, explores the true impact home design has on our lives, and the opportunity for us to re-evaluate standards and design principles of age-friendly housing and designs at home post COVID-19.
Are you ready to be isolated? Wellbeing lead approach to live/work housing
This new guest blog for the Housing LIN by Archadia Architects’ Kathryn Thomas explores the question all housing professionals have had on their mind since the start of the COVID-19 crisis: What will change after confinement?
Later Living: Ageing Happily
This new guest blog for the Housing LIN by Future Street’s Jenny West explores how good quality HAPPI housing can enable people to lead healthier lives and help compress loneliness.
HAPPI Working from Home? Designing ‘work ready’ housing
In this blog, The Housing LIN's Jeremy Porteus explores how HAPPI can be adapted to accommodate a growing number of people of all ages working from home generally and, in particular, in the advent of coronavirus.
Ten HAPPI years!
In Ten HAPPI Years! Lord Best writes about the achievements of the original report, and what challenges now face government in ensuring the supply of high-quality housing for older people in the UK.
HAPPI ten years on
Patrick Devlin, of Pollard Thomas Edwards, writes for the Housing LIN about the architectural lessons of the original HAPPI report.
HAPPI Anniversary by Julia Park, Head of Research for Levitt Bernstein Architects, and a co-author of the original HAPPI report, reflects on what we’ve learned from the original report, and from its four sequels.
A HAPPI Chapter in the Story of Design and Practice Research
In his blog, A HAPPI Chapter in the Story of Design and Practice Research, Matthew Barac, Cass School of Art, London Metropolitan, writes about his experience of conducting architectural research for the original HAPPI report.
Pioneer Intergenerational Co-Housing – The Cockaigne Houses in Hatfield
Housing LIN viewpoint 99 looks at the Cockaigne houses in Hatfield and reflects on what lessons we can draw from the scheme.
National Design Guide
The government’s National Design Guide sets out the characteristics of well-designed places and demonstrates what good design means in practice.
ColladoCollins has gathered research and insights from older people and leaders in the sector to create Just Living, a narrative around the choices and considerations at stake when designing and developing homes for our future selves.
A Home for the Ages
A new report from RIBA challenges the current failure in England to meet the need for housing that is suitable for the older generation.
Designing inclusive Later Living communities for HAPPI residents
Housing LIN Case Study 152 looks at three award-winning developments.
Buildings in the Making: A Sociological Exploration of Architecture in the Context of Health and Social Care
This ESRC funded research project written by the University of York examined the work of architects who design and develop buildings for health and social care, focusing on the design of buildings for dementia and later life care.
Phoenix CH's new extra care homes at Hazelhurst Court are helping older residents to live more independently and have brought broader benefits to the wider community.
The challenge for designers is to show that the most sensible housing for older people can also be the most desirable
In this Housing LIN Viewpoint Laura Wigzell from the The Pretty, Good Project, reviews Age-Friendly Housing: Future Design for Older People.
Age-friendly housing: Future design for older people
This essential RIBA publication, co-authored by Julia Park and Jeremy Porteus, investigates how we should approach the design of future housing for an ageing population.
Rural Housing for an Ageing Population: Preserving Independence (HAPPI 4)
An Inquiry established by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Housing and Care for Older People has concluded that older people’s housing is neglected in rural areas. This report offers a number of 'rural proofing' recommendations to increase the quality, supply and range of more appropriate age-friendly housing.
Designing for an Autonomous Community - Bruyn’s Court
Case study No 145 from the Housing LIN covers a multi-award winning scheme in Thurrock, which is set out to transform the housing offer for older people in the local area.
Inquiry into Rural Housing for an Ageing Population: Preserving Independence (HAPPI 4)
The aim of this APPG inquiry is to consider the obstacles to ensuring older people living in rural areas enjoy appropriate housing and have access to adequate at home care and support
Quality designs for later life housing: Highs and lows - cottage HAPPIness
This Housing LIN Case Study Report captures the key distinguishing features from the winning and shortlisted entries from the 2016 Housing Design Awards - HAPPI category. It puts the spotlight on...
Older People's Housing - We need a solution
This Housing LIN Viewpoint no 83 discusses challenges the older people's housing market is facing. The future remains very uncertain and, in difficult financial times and with increased development risk,...
Designing with Downsizers: The next generation of 'downsizer homes' for an active third age
This report from The University of Sheffield DWELL Project (Designing for Wellbeing in Environments for Later Life) captures some of the findings from a three year research project co-produced with...
Housing our Ageing Population: Positive Ideas (HAPPI 3) - Making retirement living a positive choice
This volume in the influential HAPPI series for the APPG on Housing and Care for Older People calls on policymakers, house-builders and other stakeholders to address the concerns and issues that deter...
Housing an Ageing Population (England)
This briefing paper from the House of Commons Library provides a comprehensive summary of the current policy and funding context for an ageing population in England. It covers a wider range of issues...
Silver Chic: The future of retirement housing and care
This report sets out the findings of Anchor research, looking at the retirement housing and residential care solutions of the future. Drawing on views and experiences of 55-65 year olds, which explored...
Getting HAPPI - A review of the winning 2015 design awards
Since 2010 the Housing Design Awards have championed a handful of developments that each year highlighted what good senior housing could be. But 2015 was the year design quality went mainstream with...
APPG Inquiry - Making Retirement Living A Positive Choice
This paper provides background information on the approach, timeframe, membership and scope of the new APPG Inquiry's work.
2015 HAPPI awards
The successful HAPPI schemes were announced at the Housing Design Awards at LSE, London, on Monday, 13 July 2015. The project award went to One Bayshill , the Pegasus Life assisted living development...
HAPPI progress at Pilgrim Gardens
Winner of the 2014 HAPPI award for completed scheme, this scheme of 31 Independent Living apartments in Evington, Leicester, provides residents with a 'Home for Life', enabling them to live independently...
Design for an Ageing Population
The RIBA has released an excellent collection of resources to help built environment professions access relevant and information they need to create buildings and places that meet the needs of an ageing...
Are Housing Associations ready for an Ageing Population?
This report by The Smith Institute and commissioned by Genesis Housing Association considers whether housing associations are ready for the challenges presented by our ageing population. It addresses...
HAPPI National Housing Design Awards
HAPPI inspired specialised housing schemes were recognised as best in their class in the 2014 Housing Design Awards, held at the London School of Economics, London. Such was the response this year, with...
Housing our Ageing Population: Plan for Implementation (HAPPI2) Report (2012)
The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Housing and Care for Older People, chaired by Lord Best, has highlighted the benefits of improved housing options for older people. Their 2012 inquiry report,...
The Housing our Ageing Population Panel for Innovation (HAPPI) Report (2009)
The 2009 report by the Housing our Ageing Population Panel for Innovation contains case studies with details of design features and provide some information about how the schemes are integrated with...
HAPPI channel on YouTube
Accompanying the 2009 HAPPI report, a series of useful case studies, reviews, newsletters, films and other supporting material in a YouTube format
Converting to HAPPI at St. Bede's, Bedford
This Housing LIN Case Study no 100 showcases the award-winning HAPPI Independent Living Scheme for people over the age of 55, at St. Bede's in the heart of Bedford. It highlights the features of the...
Deck access, balconies and bungalows: new trends in HAPPI award-winning buildings
Every year two Housing Design Awards are given out to the best residential schemes for elderly living, as part of the HAPPI (Housing our Ageing Population: Plan for Implementation) programme. This illustrated...
A HAPPI partnership - delivering quality housing for older people in Hackney
This Housing LIN Case Study no 79 examines the HAPPI principles applied at Buccleuch House, a 41 home purpose-built apartment scheme for older people in Clapton Common, Hackney. The scheme is an interesting...
'Halton Court' Quality design attracts downsizers
This Housing LIN Case Study no 77 takes a detailed look at Halton Court, an award winning 170 unit purpose-built housing scheme for people over 55 developed by Viridian Housing at Kidbrooke Village....
Prince Charles House
The story of Prince Charles House, winner of the HAPPI design awards 2013, from the design to residents living in their new eco-friendly homes.
Roden Court: Integrating community, integrating care
This Housing LIN Case Study no 75 takes a detailed look at Roden Court, an award winning extra care housing scheme. The scheme of 40 units is integrated within a partially high-rise, urban housing development...
Trees Extra Care Housing - Highgate
This Housing LIN Case Study no 53 provides an overview of the development of the HAPPI award winning Trees Extra Care Housing scheme in Highgate, London, the relationships of the partners involved, the...