Planning housing innovation with WYG, Matter Architecture and Hertfordshire University

Above: Dean Court Almshouses walkway (Matter Architecture for Pathways Housing Trust)

Community consultation, Dutch innovation and electric bikes featured in a lively discussion at our March forum on new ideas for housing the elderly, multi-generational living and retro-fitting suburbia. This panel involved debate between planning consultancy WYG, Hertfordshire University and Matter Architecture.

Architect Lucy Block gave a vivid picture of how the traditional almshouse could be updated to accommodate multi-generational living. Her firm Matter Architecture views almshouses, owned and managed by small, local charities as filling a niche area in housing provision, and while unlikely to solve the housing crisis on their own their unusual histories and constitutions mean that they are not subject to the same land pressures as many housing providers and demonstrate means by which the planning system could better support innovation and supply of affordable housing.