In January 2005 the United Kingdom government announced new policies with the aim of increasing the available housing stock for people.

An important part of that initiative is a project entitled as follows.

Design for Manufacture Competition - Building the 60,000 Home

Within the information is the following.


The competition will focus on capturing the benefits from modern construction and on stimulating public discussion about what Homes for the 21st Century should be like.

end quote

I am not an architect nor in the construction industry. However, I do like the idea of this project as it is making important progress.

I am thinking that an interesting possibility is that at least one of the new developments could be designed specifically as a way of providing housing for people needing the supportive care of a nursing home yet enabling them to live in a home which is their own, whether owned freehold or rented from a council or a housing association.

I am thinking that this could perhaps be achieved by constructing a block of physically connected houses, yet each a legally separate dwelling, together with an additional supportive care building which is physically connected to each of the houses. This connection would be by having a long, inside the building, corridor as part of the supportive care building and having an access door from the corridor to each house. The access door would be openable by using a key from the corridor and access would only be possible at any particular time if the occupant of the house had set the door to be openable at that time. Thus the possibility of access yet the occupant having privacy.

The advantages of this system are that people could live in their own homes, with their own furniture, and could keep pets if they so wish, as of right.

A problem which could arise is that there would only be access for the occupant to the outside world from one side of the house. This could perhaps mean that the houses would need to be designed so that the front doors and back doors of each house are in the same wall. This could be achieved with a not undesirable look by making each house a mirror image of the neighbouring house, so that as one looked from the road along the front of the row of houses one would see a back door, then two front doors, then two back doors, then two front doors and so on until the row of houses ended with a back door.

This would mean that the row of houses would look different from a typical present-day row of houses and thus be somewhat unusual in appearance. Yet, for the specific purpose of such a collection of houses for people needing the supportive care of a nursing home yet enabling them to live in a home which is their own, that unusualness need not be any great problem.

William Overington

19 March 2005