Headlines: July 8th, 2009

Leading architects and housing specialists have been appointed to a new Innovation Panel which will look at ways to make sure homes built in future meet the needs of Britain’s aging population. The body will be chaired by Lord Best, the President of the Local Government Association, and will bring together best practice from across Europe in coming up with its proposals.

The Panel, which has been set up by the Homes and Communities Agency, will meet for the first time later this month and is due to report to Government ministers in the autumn on the steps its members believe will ensure future housing schemes provide sustainable and inclusive homes and neighbourhoods which older people want and can afford to live in.

Members of the group include Anne Power, the Professor of Social Policy at the London School of Economics, Sir Richard MacCormac from McCormac Jamieson Prichard and Peter Maxwell, who is head of Enabling, Public Buildings at the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment. They will speak to residents and housing experts before beginning a period of intensive research.

Robert Napier, the chairman of the Homes and Communities Agency, said the country was facing the challenge of providing suitable, affordable housing that met the needs of all residents and the Panel would identify innovative next steps. Lord Best said: “I am extremely positive about the potential of this Panel to guide Government policy and ensure that future housing meets both the needs and aspirations of our aging population.”