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LIFETIME HOMES is a voluntary building standard for new homes that was developed in 1991 by the JOSEPH ROWNTREE FOUNDATION and HABINTEG HOUSING ASSOCIATION and is now promoted by the FOUNDATION FOR LIFETIME HOMES AND NEIGHBOURHOODS. Due to concerns that many homes were inaccessible and inconvenient for large sections of the population, the LIFETIME HOMES standard was created to encourage the development of new homes that are both accessible and inclusive. The standard consists of 16 design criteria that can be universally applied to new homes at minimal cost and which seek to enable ‘general needs’ housing to provide, either from the outset or through simple and cost-effective adaptation, design solutions that meet the existing and changing needs of diverse households. This offers the occupants more choice over where they live and which visitors they can accommodate for any given time scale. It is therefore an expression of Inclusive Design. Many local planning policies (such as the LONDON PLAN) require the LIFETIME HOMES standard in new developments.

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