Research project “HOUSE” - Innovating housing for older adults and subjective wellbeing

House Logo (1) House Logo (1)

“House” is an SBO research project, funded by the FWO research foundation Flanders. SBO research projects typically involve innovative research that creates prospects for economic or societal applications.

The SBO project HOUSE starts from the observation that today, there is a lack of knowledge on the influence of housing design features on the subjective well-being of current and future generations of older people.

Population ageing is one of the most important challenges of the 21st century (United Nations, 2019). Also in Belgium, the number of older people is growing: in 2019, 25.3% of the population was >60 years. By 2050, this will shift to 32.9%. In 2019, 5.7% of the population was >80 years. This number will reach 10.5% in 2050. These sharp increases will significantly impact our housing sector, which at present is not adapted to this heterogeneous population, and will challenge current and future housing policies. Next to objective architectural parameters for housing, there is a growing request to also consider issues about people's subjective wellbeing.

In this project, we will identify heterogeneity among older adults and investigate how innovative housing (concepts and characteristics) could contribute to older adults' subjective well-being. We will test and validate the "housing for older adults' subjective well-being"-evaluation instrument and develop spatial scenarios for innovative housing for older adults' subjective well-being. The outcomes of the project include Assessment Packages  and a 'Design Decision Support Tool' enabling better informed decision making for stakeholders engaging in subjective well-being housing renovation or development. These products can be applied in policy, industry, practice and for education and dissemination activities by a broad range of different end users, in due time.

In our HOUSE project, an advisory committee is involved that will closely follow up the research project and guard the societal relevance and applicability of the results. This committee consists of 30 external stakeholders, such as professional organizations, architects, contractors, public and private care organizations, governmental departments, (social) housing organizations, local governments, among others.

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Prof. dr. Ann Petermans

Ann Petermans

Research domain: Designing for More
Contact person: Prof. dr. Ann Petermans, Lieve Weytjens

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