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Housing for an ageing population. Heléna Herklots Age Concern England. Housing. Home is key to our quality of life Home is key to our social inclusion Home is the house and the amenities and facilities in the local community. Why is housing important?.

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housing for an ageing population

Housing for an ageing population

Heléna Herklots

Age Concern England

  • Home is key to our quality of life
  • Home is key to our social inclusion
  • Home is the house and the amenities and facilities in the local community
why is housing important
Why is housing important?
  • Older people spend 70-90% of their time in their home
  • 2.4 million older households live in non-decent homes. Conditions are worse where occupants:

- are aged over 75

- have lived in the same house for over 30 years

- are from black and minority ethnic communities

housing circumstances of older people
Housing circumstances of older people
  • 90% older people live in general housing
  • 5% in care homes
  • 5% in sheltered/supported housing

Up to one in four homeless people are aged 50+.

an ageing population affects demand for housing
An ageing population affects demand for housing
  • We are living longer – the average life expectancy at birth in the UK is 76.1 years for males and 80.5 years for females – and rising
  • Life expectancy at age 65 estimated at 18.7 years for males and 21.7 years for females – and rising.
  • 72% of those aged 85 and over are women
  • By age 90 women outnumber men by more than three to one
a changing population
A Changing Population ?
  • Increasing levels of home ownership amongst older people
  • Increasing black and minority ethnic older population
  • ‘Baby boomer’ generations with different expectations
  • More flexible retirement and increasing numbers of older workers
  • Increasing awareness of age discrimination – but from a low base
the government s view
The Government’s view

‘Living in a decent, warm and comfortable home is central to maintaining independence and well-being. Therefore, mainstream housing policy needs to reflect the issues that an ageing population raises.’

Opportunity Age 2005

the home and social inclusion
The home and social inclusion

‘Our vision is to ensure that older people are enabled to remain independent for as long as possible, and that when housing support services are needed they are available. This will require access to information about home adaptations and housing options to be improved, for services to join-up, and for service providers to work in a preventative way’.

SEU 2006

a new housing strategy for older people
A new housing strategy for older people

Commitment from the Department for Local Government and Communities working with the Department of Health, and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and external partners, to develop a strategy for housing and older people by 2006/7.

the housing and older people development group
The Housing and Older People Development Group
  • Established in 2001
  • Members include older people, housing providers, voluntary organisations, local authorities
  • Advises Government on matters relating to housing and older people
  • Key role in the development of the new housing strategy
what are the problems
What are the problems?
  • Access to timely information and advice
  • Practical housing options
  • Maintenance and repair of housing; and adaptations
  • ‘Preventative’ help
information and advice
Information and advice

‘How can I tell you what I want, when I don’t know what there is?’

  • Encourage specialist providers of housing advice to ensure that their services are meeting the needs of older people
  • Encourage generalist organisations working with older people to develop their housing advice provision
  • Need detailed local housing options information, advice and assistance
practical housing options
Practical housing options

Enabling older people to access the full range of housing options available

‘Professionals involved in the major regeneration of an area called a meeting with local people. Virtually all of the presentation was about family housing. The planners were asked whether they had considered the fact that a high proportion of current residents were older people. They clearly had not done so, since their immediate response was that they would “of course look at building a sheltered housing scheme”.’

maintenance and repair adaptations
Maintenance and repair; adaptations
  • Assistance with small repairs – handyperson schemes
  • Disabled Facilities Grants
  • Warm Front
  • Waiting times?
preventative help
‘Preventative’ help
  • ‘low level’ support services
  • Supporting People programme
  • Individual Budgets?
  • Home safety
  • New technology
home is key to inclusion
Home is key to inclusion
  • Influencing the new housing strategy
  • Influencing local and regional housing and planning strategies
  • Improving information and advice, and access to ‘low level’ support and services
  • Ensuring a range of housing options for older people

Housing and Older People Development Group (HOPDEV)



Age Equality in Housing: a guide to tackling age discrimination for housing providers, commissioners, planners and builders.

Delivering housing for an ageing population: Informing housing strategies and planning policies.

‘At Home’ Audit Tool for Housing and Related Services for Older Minority Ethnic People’ (CD Rom)

Housing Advice and Information for Older People