Dougie Herd: Building accessible homes is crucial for society’s sustainable future

Dougie Herd: Building accessible homes is crucial for society’s sustainable future

Dougie Herd

Following the launch yesterday of the Housing & Social Care Accessibility Summit 2024, Dougie Herd, the joint managing director of event headline sponsor Campion Homes, shares his thoughts on the importance of accessible housing and why Campion is supporting the event.

As the joint managing director of Campion Homes, I have witnessed firsthand the profound impact that accessible housing can have on individuals and communities. Over the years, our commitment has grown, driving us to not only meet but exceed the standard building regulations in Scotland, ensuring that our homes cater to a broad spectrum of needs.

Campion Homes has a long history of integrating accessibility into our developments. Our early projects included work with the Homelands Trust in Lundin Links and specialist housing for Glen Housing Association in partnership with the Aberlour Trust in Glenrothes. Homelands Trust is dedicated to improving the quality of life for individuals affected by disability, people with life-limiting conditions, and their carers through the provision of specialist holiday accommodation. We were proud to build their first homes in 2014.

Our more recent endeavours include the high-specification homes at Charleston in Dundee, for Blackwood. These projects not only meet the specific needs of individuals with disabilities but also enhance their quality of life by fostering independence and dignity.

Our Primrose Place development in Alloa, delivered on behalf of Kingdom Housing Association, incorporated colour coding to help residents identify different floors and areas. We were incredibly proud to receive a Gold Design Award for this project from the Dementia Services Development Centre, an internationally recognised centre that aims to improve lives for people living with dementia. Just a few weeks ago, this development was named Medium Development of the Year at the 2024 Homes for Scotland Awards. It has also been shortlisted as a finalist in the new Accessibility and Inclusion category of the Scottish Home Awards 2024, sponsored by Horizon Housing.

Despite our successes, the journey towards universally accessible housing is fraught with challenges, particularly relating to costs and regulations. The Scottish construction industry is currently grappling with the implications of expanding the ‘Housing for Varying Needs’ standards to all new homes. While we recognise the necessity of such standards for future-proofing homes against an ageing population, the increased costs and potential impact on housing affordability cannot be overlooked. It is essential for the industry and government to find a balance that enables both development and accessibility.

Scotland faces significant challenges in tackling a chronic shortage of accessible housing and ensuring the nation’s future housing stock is fit for the new reality of an ageing population and an increase in people with complex needs.

The inaugural Housing & Social Care Accessibility Summit taking place this coming September is a crucial step in addressing the challenges we face in driving the creation of more accessible housing. Campion Homes is delighted to be sponsoring this event.

Working with Scottish Housing News and Horizon Housing, we’re looking forward to bringing together leaders from various sectors to discuss how accessible housing can reduce pressure on social care and health services, while identifying and debating new solutions. I am also very keen that we continue to explore new partnerships to drive prevention and early intervention and offer practical recommendations for change.

Our sponsorship of this event underscores Campion Homes’ dedication to building accessible housing. We believe that by fostering dialogue and collaboration among industry leaders, we can drive meaningful change and develop innovative solutions. The summit will provide a unique opportunity for joined-up thinking on how to build a more inclusive and sustainable future, one where more people are supported to live independently in homes designed to adapt as their needs change.

Looking forward, the need for accessible housing will only increase. At Campion Homes, we are proactive in collaborating with our local authority and housing association partners to ensure that our projects not only meet current demands but are also adaptable to future needs. Dialogue with our partners is vital, as it allows us to stay ahead of trends and regulatory changes that could affect our designs and building practices.

Our dedication to building accessible homes goes beyond compliance; it’s about enriching lives and empowering communities. As we continue to advocate for and build these essential spaces, our hope is to inspire other developers and stakeholders to join us. Together, we can create environments where everyone can thrive.

Tickets for the Housing & Social Care Accessibility Summit are available for £175 + booking fee via Eventbrite, or alternatively contact to be invoiced for £145 + VAT directly from Scottish Housing News.

For more information, click here.

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