What We Need From Our Homes – Design Council Launches Housing Guide for Home of 2030

The results of a wide-reaching public engagement exercise designed to understand and provide new insight into what people need from their homes has been launched today by Design Council.

The results of a wide-reaching public engagement exercise designed to understand and provide new insight into what people need from their homes has been launched today by Design Council.

Part of the government-backed Home of 2030 competition being run by BRE, Design Council, RIBA Competitions and the Ministry of Building Innovation + Education (MOBIE), A Public Vision for the Home of 2030 has been developed by Design Council to inform the second stage of the Home of 2030 competition as well as providing guidance for the housing sector as a whole.

Setting out a vision and principles for successful homes of the future, the report focusses on 20 key principles based on the findings from local workshops and polling among a nationally representative sample of adults in England undertaken by Savanta ComRes.

Housing Minister Rt Hon Christopher Pincher MP said: “Today’s report follows one of the largest-ever exercises to place people at the heart of new homes – revealing precisely what we need from the homes of the future.”

“I’m keen to see the Home of 2030 entries later this year and how they take these principles on board to deliver new low-carbon homes and independent living for older generations. Green, clean homes will help our economy to bounce back more sustainably than ever before.”

Sarah Weir OBE, Chief Executive of Design Council, said: “We need to shift the conversation about housing to one about the home, and to emphasise the voices of those who matter the most when it comes to the design of our future homes: the people who will live in them.

“Even before Covid-19 brought about new ways of living and working, this research started to highlight that we still need to get the fundamentals right. We all need more, different things from our homes as we move through our lives, and this needs to be recognised, accommodated and celebrated.

“As well as informing the next stage of the Home of 2030 competition, this report should be a tool for everyone involved in housing delivery. Good homes impact everything – from our health and wellbeing to the success of those bringing them forward and national efforts to tackle climate change. At a time when housing delivery is particularly complex it makes individuals’ priorities clear.”

Design Council’s 20 Principles for the Home of 2030

The 20 Principles of the Home of 2030 emerged from undertaking public workshops and were tested through polling. They are divided into six main themes which reflect participants’ key priorities and concerns.

Being fit for purpose

  1. A home that is affordable to run (e.g. rent, mortgage, utilities) so I can still live a comfortable life
  2. A home that gets the basics right (e.g. noise, light, ventilation, temperature)
  3. A home where I don’t have to worry about everything working as it should

Giving people agency

  1. A home that is easy to adapt or extend
  2. Having the opportunity to contribute to the design of my home
  3. A home that is simple to fix and maintain without assistance
  4. Having more choice and freedom over my housing options
  5. Having control over what digital technology can do in my home

Tackling the climate crisis

  1. A home that is environmentally friendly and is part of a response to climate change
  2. A home that makes it easier for me to make more sustainable living choices

Connecting people and their communities

  1. Having regular contact with my neighbours
  2. A home that has spaces and facilities that I can share with my neighbours
  3. A home that is in a neighbourhood that has all the amenities that a community of all different ages may need
  4. A home with plenty of convenient travel options so that I can get around easily

Meeting the needs of every life stage

  1. A home which is suitable for multiple generations of my family to live in
  2. A home that is my current home, with improvements
  3. A home where it is possible for me to work from home
  4. A home that has quality private or shared gardens

Representing something different

  1. A home that looks attractive and has its own identity
  2. A home that is innovative and different to what people have seen before

The responses of particular groups – for instance younger (aged 18-34) compared to older adults (55+), those with and without caring responsibilities, and those living in urban compared to rural areas – were also analysed and the findings set out separately in the report. Everyone surveyed was an adult living in England.

This new insight will inform the second stage of the Home of 2030 competition later this year – where shortlisted designers, developers, SMEs, contractors, funders and product suppliers will come together to develop their concepts in Phase 2 of the competition.

Elli Thomas, Lead Programme Manager at Design Council who sits on the Home of 2030 team, added “It quickly became clear that it is at home where people feel and celebrate their control, independence and agency; where they seek and find comfort and where they can live their lives and fulfil their values.”

“During this engagement process we looked at the issues that people see as important in their future homes and explored how this differs across different regions, environments, and demographic groups. We highlighted the differences between what people have at the moment and what they want in the future, identifying particular life stages where certain factors are more important and exploring some of the emotional as well as functional requirements that people have from where they live. Understandably, people want to live in their homes for as long as possible, which means accommodation must be able to adapt. We also need to look wider. As one workshop participant put it, a house is important, but the neighbourhood ‘is what makes it a home’. As another put it, we should ‘start with the village’.”

You can download a copy of the report on the Home of 2030 website here.