The concept of Lifetime Homes was developed in the early 1990s by a group of housing experts, including Habinteg Housing Association and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
The group was formed because of concerns about how inaccessible and inconvenient many homes were for large sections of the population. Lifetime Homes was developed to ensure that homes are accessible and inclusive.
Lifetime Homes are ordinary homes designed to incorporate 16 Design Criteria that can be universally applied to new homes at minimal cost. Each design feature adds to the comfort and convenience of the home and supports the changing needs of individuals and families at different stages of life.
Lifetime Homes are all about flexibility and adaptability; they are not ‘special’, but are thoughtfully designed to create and encourage better living environments for everyone. From raising small children to coping with illness or dealing with reduced mobility in later life, Lifetime Homes make the ups and downs of daily living easier to manage.
Each Lifetime Homes criterion is listed in full on the left-hand side of this page 1-16. Please note that this standard is current and was revised from the previous version in July 2010.
In England, the Lifetime Homes standard was superseded in 2015 by M4(2) Part M of Building Regulations, which is broadly equivalent to the Lifetime Homes standard.
In 2022, the Government announced plans to raise the baseline accessibility standard for all new homes to M4(2). Approved Document M Volume 1: Dwellings sets out how M4(2) can be achieved.
In Wales and Northern Ireland, the Welsh Assembly and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive still require the Lifetime Homes Standard for their funded developments.
In Scotland, Building Standards technical handbook 2020: domestic should be referred to for guidance on achieving standards set in the Building Regulations 2004. Plans for a new housing standard are being developed to create a single set of quality and accessibility standards.
CAE has expert knowledge on all types of housing and provide professional consultancy and training on housing schemes, development and design. We can check compliance against the Lifetime Homes standard and provide access reviews of masterplans and housing regeneration schemes.