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Sheltered Housing – Fit for the future?. Eileen Patterson, FOLD HA Fiona Boyle, Research consultant. Workshop on sheltered housing. Introduction about sheltered housing sector and issues/challenges - Eileen The rationale for research and review of current model - Fiona

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Sheltered housing fit for the future

Sheltered Housing – Fit for the future?

Eileen Patterson, FOLD HA

Fiona Boyle, Research consultant

Workshop on sheltered housing
Workshop on sheltered housing

  • Introduction about sheltered housing sector and issues/challenges - Eileen

  • The rationale for research and review of current model - Fiona

  • The main research findings - Fiona

  • Discussion on how these findings might inform and impact on future role/best use of provision - Eileen

Challenges for sheltered housing

Challenges for Sheltered Housing

Challenges as identified in 2009:

Demography and Demand

Design and standard of accommodation




Strategy for Older People

Characteristics of sheltered housing
Characteristics of Sheltered Housing

Characteristics as identified in 2009:

  • Quality of accommodation good?

  • Accessed via the CSS assessment

  • Classified as ‘general needs’ accommodation

  • Categorised as ‘Independent Living’

  • Accommodation with low levels of housing support and no care provided.

Key Question:How will the research on SHELTERED HOUSING inform our views on these challenges and characteristics and help us determine future use?

Rationale for research
Rationale for research

  • Lack of published reviews or evaluations

  • Demographics – growth of older population

  • Other housing options

  • Changes in the housing market and other changes

  • Changing age at which people enter sheltered housing

  • Confusion about the name or term sheltered housing

  • Voids

  • Changing expectations and desires

Research aims
Research Aims

  • Research project:

  • Commissioned by NIHE in early 2011

  • To look to the future in terms of the need for and possible configuration and delivery of services within the sheltered housing market

  • Number of research methods and approaches including e-survey of 15 Housing Associations, survey of current tenants, focus groups with older people not in sheltered housing, interviews/focus groups with Scheme Managers/tenants etc.

Main research findings
Main Research Findings

Overview of the number and distribution of sheltered housing schemes in Northern Ireland

  • Category 2 housing - 15 Housing Associations

  • 289 Cat 2 sheltered housing schemes in NI

  • Total of 7,926 units of accommodation

Main research findings1
Main Research Findings

Profile of current sheltered housing tenants

  • Age - over half (53%) were aged 75 and over with a further third aged 65 to 74. 16% were aged 24 to 64;

  • Two thirds had a disability;

  • Reason for move to SH and people involved in decision;

  • Feedback on facilities available and local services.

Main research findings2
Main Research Findings

High satisfaction levels

  • Current tenants are satisfied with the type of housing and its services

  • Sheltered housing has a range of physical and social benefits;

  • There was also some level of dissatisfaction with factors such as car parking, space to store mobility scooters and aides, and the space in kitchens.

Main research findings3
Main Research Findings

Sheltered housing has low levels of voids

  • Voids do not appear to be a significant issue in the management of sheltered housing in Northern Ireland.

  • In 2010/11 - 3% of the total units of sheltered housing

  • Nearly two thirds of schemes (62% of stock) indicated no voids during 2010/11 and a further 24% (only one void during the year).

Main research findings4
Main Research Findings

A small number of sheltered housing schemes experience difficulties in terms of achieving full occupancy

  • Difficulties with occupancy appears to be mainly localised or for a specific reason

  • Specific difficulties include –

    • location within a town

    • type of development and mix of types of housing

    • over-supply in particular areas

    • lack of demand in certain areas

Main research findings5
Main Research Findings

Significant numbers of offers of sheltered housing are turned down

  • Around two third to three quarters of all offers of sheltered housing are turned down;

  • Similar to the picture of offers and acceptances across social housing sector;

  • Reasons:

    • Limited knowledge of what sheltered housing is and what services are on offer

    • Perceived lack of both privacy and independence

Main research findings6
Main Research Findings

Sheltered housing is in good physical condition with good accessibility

  • Study concluded - majority of sheltered housing is viable and fit for purpose;

    • Physical condition of sheltered housing stock rated as very good/good (88%)

    • Accessibility rated as very suitable/suitable (87%);

    • But one in five units (19%) rated as not very suitable in terms of space standards;

Main research findings7
Main Research Findings

Tenants are getting older and are ageing in place, and age span of tenants is extending at both ends.

  • NICORE data - average of people when they enter sheltered

  • Research – current age of tenants

Main research findings8
Main Research Findings

The needs of tenants have changed since sheltered housing was first developed

  • Widening age range and range of reported other needs e.g. learning difficulty, alcohol addiction, loneliness and depression

  • Different implications for the management of sheltered housing.

Main research findings9
Main Research Findings

There are varying perceptions of sheltered housing and a range of reasons for turning down an offer of sheltered housing.

  • Reasons and issues for perceptions of sheltered housing

  • Reasons for turning it down

Future of sheltered housing in ni
Future of Sheltered Housing in NI?

Independent Living


Being supported to Live Independently

General Needs Accommodation


Individual Needs and Targeted Services

Sheltered housing has always been age specific and for older people
Sheltered Housing has always been age specific and for ‘Older People’

Is becoming an ‘Older Person’

different now than it was 20 or 30

years ago?

Challenges for sheltered housing today
Challenges for Sheltered Housing Today ‘Older People’

Are they the same as in 2009?

  • Demography and Demand

  • Design and standard of accommodation

  • Services

  • Staffing

  • Funding

  • Strategy for Older People

Existing tenants
Existing Tenants ‘Older People’

  • A diverse group with ages ranging over 5 decades

  • Increased dependence on alcohol

  • Increased incidence of anti social behaviour

  • Living longer and not always in good health

  • Increasing frailty and greater support needs

  • Two thirds with a disability

  • No ability to meet care needs within

Future tenants
Future Tenants ‘Older People’

  • Getting older when moving into sheltered

  • Getting younger when moving into sheltered

  • Misperceptions of sheltered housing

  • Not aware of benefits of sheltered housing (‘The Best Move I ever made’)

  • Range of complex health and care needs

Services ‘Older People’

  • Currently one level of ‘housing support’

  • Support provided and charged whether needed or not

  • No ability to offer range of services

  • No access to housing support outside of sheltered housing

  • No ability to provide care where needed

  • No ability to provide for ‘private pay’

The challenges for the future
The Challenges for the Future? ‘Older People’

  • Physical accommodation is good – range of services not so good

  • Assessment of needs and matching accommodation and services is vital for success

  • Delivery of services to meet diverse and complex needs is critical to sustain tenancies

  • Services need to be based on the person and not the accommodation

  • A range of services based on need required

  • Options for funding based on needs required

Future and best use of sheltered housing
Future and Best use of ‘Older People’Sheltered Housing

  • The accommodation is a valuable asset

  • Stock is in good condition and can provide good homes for older and vulnerable people

  • Can deliver Ageing in place and a Home for life

  • It is not the accommodation but the services provided that will keep people in their home

Recipe for success
Recipe for Success? ‘Older People’

  • Effectively assess needs and match to provision;

  • Deliver services to suit the user, not the funder;

  • Person centred, not accommodation based;

  • Acknowledge not general needs but diverse needs, ranging from low level to complex;

  • Not independent living but being supported to live independently;

  • Flexibility – ‘one size fits all’ is not how we will meet and provide for the needs of individuals.