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SFHA launches toolkit to help housing sector future-proof homes

SFHA has created a toolkit to help housing associations and co-operatives to explore how they can incorporate inclusive design into their developments and is inviting them to get involved in its inclusive living project.  

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The Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) has released new research that examines taking a different approach to designing homes and communities. The design concept aims to meet people’s physical and social needs throughout their lives.   

The research, led by Dr Vikki McCall of the University of Stirling, as part of SFHA’s Innovation and Future Thinking Programme, explores the concept of an ‘inclusive living and design’ approach which would see all homes in the social housing sector designed for all ages and abilities. It would remove physical and social barriers to inclusion through design, encouraging intergenerational communities and increasing social cohesion.  

Watch this short video introduction to the Inclusive Living Toolkit with Dr Vikki McCall and co-author, Jill Pritchard:

This approach aims to strengthen relationships between individuals and support services such as health and social care. It also aims to help people to live longer in their own homes which could lead to savings in other public spending areas such as the NHS.   

SFHA said that further research is needed to examine the cost implications of the social housing sector adopting inclusive design. However, cost implications may be lessened if decisions are made at early stages in the development process.  

SFHA is calling for the next Scottish Government to commit to reviewing the current Housing for Varying Needs Standard and to carrying out a study with the social housing sector to examine the feasibility of mainstreaming standards of accessibility through inclusive design. 

How your organisation can get involved 

SFHA has created a toolkit to help housing associations and co-operatives to explore how they can incorporate inclusive design into their developments and is inviting them to get involved in its inclusive living project. 

What you need to do now: 

  1. If you are interested in getting involved in the inclusive living project, please email innovation@sfha.co.uk and SFHA will give you full access to the Inclusive Living Toolkit which has detailed information about the project.  
  2. Your organisation should then identify an inclusive living ambassador – a volunteer who will help to embed the principle of inclusive living into your everyday operations and future development planning. They will receive training and support on the functionalities of the toolkit, its purpose and how to facilitate conversations about inclusive design within your organisation. 
  3. Once you have appointed your inclusive living ambassador, you can organise a session on inclusive living using the Inclusive Living Toolkit. The session can either be an in-person workshop or an online session, as long as you can share your screen. Microsoft Teams and Zoom can support this function. 

Inclusive Living Toolkit 

The Inclusive Living Toolkit comprises three resources: 

  1. The Inclusive Living Evidence Review is a good place for ambassadors to begin as it outlines evidence that supports the concept of inclusive living and design.  
  2. The Inclusive Living Checklist Tool allows housing associations and co‑operatives to think holistically about inclusive approaches to housing development, maintenance and repair. The tool is designed to allow ambassadors to facilitate a group session on different elements that can be adjusted, changed, or implemented to support more accessible practice and design. Visit the download page to access the tool.
  3. Notes for Inclusive Living Champions provide a summary of the concept of inclusive living, the role of an ambassador and tips on how to run an inclusive living session. Click here to download the notes.

You can also click here to download the project overview.

Email innovation@sfha.co.uk today and help future-proof our homes.  

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