The Older People’s Housing Champion’s network has produced its Housing Manifesto which includes ten recommendations that we believe are important for all working in housing, health and care to ensure that all older people have access to a decent home in later life. They are:
1. Home adaptations assistance should be mandatory, delivered quickly, efficiently and be a core part of future integrated health, social care and housing systems.
2. There should be nationwide provision of practical, affordable housing repair and adaptation services – including home improvement agencies and handyperson services for older people in all housing sectors.
3. Small “healthy at home” grants or low cost loans for essential repairs and improvements (including heating systems) should be made available for disadvantaged older people, resulting in benefits both for individuals and society.
4. Local authority house condition audits should be re-introduced alongside private sector housing renewal programmes to tackle disrepair and prevent existing housing stock decline.
5. Build all ordinary housing for all ages – all new homes should be built to accessible standards and be suitable for further adaptation.
6. Build more innovative mainstream housing of a design and size that is particularly suitable for later life.
7. Build a wider range of specialist and supported housing for those with later life care and support needs.
8. A national source of independent, specialist, housing, care and finance information, combined with impartial local one-to-one advice and support, is urgently needed for older people, their carers and professionals.
9. A register of accessible, adaptable housing would help people locate suitable homes quickly when their needs change.
10. Older people – experts through experience – need to be engaged and involved in developing and delivering housing strategies and solutions for later life at all levels locally and nationally.
In our view home is the hub of life. Living independently in a home of their choice is the simple aspiration of most older people. We want to work to see this a reality.
- Planning Ahead: influencing local planning on housing and ageing
- Reading for the darker nights: A number of reports focused on housing and ageing have recently been published
- Housing Action by Older People’s Groups in Hull and Wirral
- Handyperson services: New evidence of cost benefits
- Ideas for action guides: practical ideas to influence local housing policy, plans and action