Annex B - Housing for older people design standards

Part of: Housing Association Guide, Development Guide, Design standards

Specific additional design standards are applicable to housing for older people (category 1 and category 2). The minimum standards for the additional design requirements that must be applied are shown below.

Warden’s accommodation

A self-contained General Needs dwelling should be provided.

Common room

  • a heated, furnished common room or rooms (2m2/person) should be provided for use by tenants, together with a conveniently located, wheelchair accessible WC with washbasin. Suitable floor coverings, curtains, seating and tables should be provided
  • an adjacent chair store (2m2 minimum) should be provided
  • an adjacent tea kitchen with a sink and hot water facility should be provided

Associated communal facilities

  • laundry room – should be incorporated with at least one sink, washing machine and tumble dryer, also a table or bench for folding clothes
  • guest room – should be provided, heated and furnished of double bedroom size and situated near a communal toilet or en suite facilities provided
  • emergency alarm system – provided connecting each dwelling with the warden in case of emergency - a transfer facility should be incorporated for use when the warden is absent
  • office – for the warden’s use should be provided close to the main entrance
  • wheelchair accessible via heated and enclosed circulation where appropriate

Note: Communal facilities are optional for Category 1, and mandatory for Category 2.   


Design standards in relation to accessibility for housing for older people (category 1 & category 2) are summarised in Table 7: Housing for older people (category 1 & category 2) - Accessibility Criteria 

Inside the home

General design standards in relation to housing for older people (category 1 & category 2) door and corridor Widths are summarised in Table 8: Housing for older people (category 1 and 2) - General requirements

Supported Housing (Accessible Criteria) – the above criteria will normally suffice for this type of housing, but may need to take account of special space and facility requirements need by some tenants, including multi-wheelchair user environments.

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