Well-designed housing improves quality of life. Without a focus on design quality, we risk creating homes in which no-one wants to live.

Adelaide Wharf

Adelaide Wharf
Photo by Timothy Soar

CABE works with national, regional and local partners to help improve the standard of new homes and neighbourhoods across the country.

See our list of housing publications for practical advice on housebuilding.

Housing at CABE

Building for Life

The national standard for well-designed homes and neighbourhoods.

Decent homes need decent spaces

An action plan to improve the quality of open spaces within social housing areas.

Simpler and better: housing design in everyone's interest

Is it too much to believe that all new homes can be good enough everywhere? Why has this proved so difficult in the past and what can we do to change it?

Housing standards: evidence and research

2010 will be a pivotal year for housing standards. We have collected the latest research on housing standards, including technical details and a comprehensive evidence base for anyone to draw from.

Who should build our homes?

Six experts with strong views tell us what they would change to deliver more and better housing.

Space in new homes: what residents think

Research supporting more space in private homes, to ensure that they are functional, flexible and fit for purpose.

Creating excellent buildings

Read our guide to commissioning a building project, covering the four main stages of preparation, design, construction and use.

Creating successful masterplans

Discover how to produce better masterplans that lead to the physical, social and economic revival of places.

Design review: housing

Browse our design reviews of significant schemes and see our reasons for supporting or opposing them.


Write better design and access statements, win planning appeals on design grounds and learn how to use the planning system to support good design.

Evaluating housing proposals step-by-step

Find out how to produce well-designed developments that achieve the Building for Life standard.

Housing audit

Find out what the quality of housing and neighbourhoods is like across England.

Housing market renewal

See how we worked with the local authorities and partnerships involved in the housing market renewal programme.

Thames Gateway

CABE worked with local authorities and other organisations delivering regeneration in the Thames Gateway area through a variety of projects.