Living environments have a tremendous impact on people’s health. Ensuring their suitability and adaptability to people’s needs and preferences – including when these needs and preferences evolve over time – is one of the most effective approaches to respond to the challenges of Europe’s ageing demographics. This is the challenge the new Homes4Life project will take up by developing the first European certification scheme for age-friendly housing.
A huge share of the building stock is not adapted to permit older persons to age in place. Even today’s new constructions do not yet properly address the need for creating smart living environments for ageing well. One in eight of Europeans over 65 declare that their house is not comfortably warm during winter. Demand for age-friendly homes exceeds supply by far: a European study estimates a demand of up to 10 million age-friendly homes in the upcoming years across the continent.
The different socio-economic conditions (housing ownership, family structure, health system, etc.) and building typologies across the European Union will be analyzed to provide the Homes4Life certification scheme with the flexibility necessary to address the specificities of each country in a user-centric approach. The Homes4Life certification scheme will apply to both new and existing buildings.
As a partner of this new project, AGE will produce a report on how age-friendly housing in Europe currently looks like and on how older persons’ expectations with regard to housing are likely to evolve until 2040. This prospective exercise will aim at mapping what could be the future living environments and how they could best support ageing at home. This research report will build on consultations of a wide range of stakeholders including AGE members and the European Covenant on Demographic Change.