Bungalows nearing extinction despite continued demand


A 3D render of the interior of one of the Papworth bungalows

Bungalows are still one of the most popular types of home, and 30% of us would like to move into one if we moved in retirement. However, in 2013 only 2% of new builds were bungalows and at the current rate of decline the last new bungalow will be built in 2020.

Leading disability charity Papworth Trust wanted to challenge the preconception that accessible homes need larger plots, so it has built 2 accessible bungalows which occupy the same plot as a standard 2-bedroom home (69.7m2). The charity hopes the designs will persuade developers to explore more options for accessible housing. The homes will be launched at an opening event on Thursday 26 March.

Built in Papworth Everard in Cambridgeshire, both bungalows meet the accessibility standards set by Lifetime Homes and Wheelchair Accessible Designs. In addition, one has been fitted with cutting edge technology including:

  • Tablet/phone controlled door openers
  • Tablet/phone controlled window openers and automatic curtain openers
  • Automatic blinds
  • Automated light switches in hallway and both bedrooms
  • Light modules to lounge
  • Video door entry system to front door
  • The 2 waves control system means that all technology works even if the internet is down.

The government accepts that there is a shortage of housing specifically designed to meet the needs of disabled people and the ageing population. The IPPR Disability 2020 Report states that by 2020 only 12% of properties are likely to meet ‘visitability’ standards for disabled people.

Papworth Trust Chief Executive Vicky McDermott said:

“The Government’s emerging policy is around ending the housing crisis within a generation. For the generation that follows, it is essential that we build more accessible homes like our bungalows to prevent the next housing crisis.

“We have been sharing our plans with Ministers, Local Authorities, developers, housing associations and charities, all of which have been keen to see more. We would like to welcome any organisation or person interested in building an accessible home to get in touch.”

National Housing Federation Chief Executive David Orr says:

“If we want to house our future, we need to start building for it. Implementing ideas such as Papworth Trust’s visionary bungalows will mean that people needing accessible homes can finally have some options available to them.”

About Papworth Trust

Charity Papworth Trust offers essential support and care to disabled and older people, their families and carers. We help people of all ages to live independently in their own homes, to learn new skills, and to find and keep jobs that are right for them. To find out more please go to www.papworthtrust.org.uk.

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