Future Homes, a new report by Demos and AXA, finds the public is deeply concerned that homes built today are not fit for the future – more than a third (34%) think new homes built today will not be fit for purpose in thirty years’ time. Drawing on demographic, economic and technological forecasting, it also finds that significant changes are have to be made to the home if we are to respond to the challenges Britain faces in 2040.

Multigenerational living could be part of the answer, helping to tackle loneliness and social care demands as a result of an ageing population and intergenerational divisions. But 66% of people think new build homes do not allow for such arrangements, despite our report finding that more people would consider having their parents move in with them than would not (31% versus 29%).

Future Homes calls for an end to the ‘numbers game’ on housing policy. This demands a new focus on building zero -carbon homes that are fit for multigenerational families.

The report recommends measures to integrate housing policy into wider societal trends, as well as enable and incentivise future multi-generational living. Specific recommendations include:

  • The government’s new Future Homes standard should include a requirement for new homes to be fit or adaptable for multigenerational living.
  • To make it easier to convert existing homes into multigenerational homes, government should introduce permitted development rights for the conversion of garages into ‘granny annexes’.
  • To encourage the formation of multigenerational households, government should abolish the single payer council tax discount for residents without dependents living in band E and above properties. The savings should help fund a discount for council tax discount for multigenerational households.
  • The government’s new Future Homes standard should also introduce a minimum green space standard for new build properties, ensuring everyone can access a garden.
  • To improve the energy efficiency of homes and reduce the UK’s carbon emissions, the government should reintroduce the scrapped Zero Carbon Homes standard and launch a Green Homes Fund supported by a state-backed Green Development Bank.

Read the report here.