Thesis (Ph.D)

The design of purpose built, public sector housing provision for young single people


A preliminary examination of the range of housing provision for young single people in both the public and private sectors of the housing market in England and Wales indicated that a large proportion of young single people have no viable alternative to renting from the public sector, yet little consideration is given to their housing need. From this main problem area, that is the relationship between the housing requirements of young single people who are dependent on rented accommodation and the housing provision made for this group through the public sector, three main research propositions were formulated. These were tested through detailed examination and analysis of data which was collected, using a variety of methods, from the architects, designers, housing managers and tenants of three young single person housing schemes used as case studies. The research found that specifically designed public sector housing provision available for young single people to rent is designed according to recommendations and standards contained in the design guidance. These, it is argued, are based on inaccurate perceptions of the characteristics and housing requirements of young single people. The research identified a number of mismatches between the perception of young single people, both stated and implicit, in the design guidance, and the actual characteristics of the tenants of the three schemes surveyed, who were taken as representative of young single people. In particular the research found that young single people were no more mobile than older single people and spent more time in the home than the design guidance had anticipated, due to different patterns of both employment and social activity. This finding is crucial because the assumption of a high level of mobility with little time spent in the home forms the basis for the design guidance recommendation for two distinct categories of accommodation, smaller bedsits or shared flats for younger single people and larger onebedroom flats for older single people. The research considered whether the specifically designed public sector housing provided for young single people matched their housing requirements. A number of mismatches were identified, in particular between the provision and requirement for space and some services in the flats and for tenants'social requirements, including control over their environment. There was a higher incidence of mismatch in the design of the individual dwelling units than in the general design features of the scheme. From this investigation conclusions were drawn and new recommendations made for the future provision of more appropriate accommodation for young single people.

Attached files


Warren, Frances V.


Year: 1988

© Warren, Frances V.
Published by Oxford Brookes University
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