NW Champion influencing Housing and Planning for Ageing in Greater Manchester
Thanks to efforts of older activists, and the NW Older People’s Housing Champion in particular, the new Greater Manchester Framework for Creating Age Friendly Homes now includes mention of improving existing homes and C&RE is contributing the GM Mayor’s ‘Retrofit Task Group’ making the case for linking energy efficiency retrofit to future-proofing and improving accessibility of existing homes. NW OPHC activities include giving an Ageing in Place Presentation to Manchester Local Plan Coalition , writing Independent Living Saves Lives, a blog for GM Housing Action, and giving an interview making ageing/ disadvantage link to Climate Emergency Manchester.
Newcastle Elders Council – Outreach and housing conversations
One of their housing initiatives is to reach marginalised and ignored older people (particularly those who are ageing without children or are carers) through use of the arts. They have used film and theatre performances followed by post show discussions, but due to the pandemic they then ran successful virtual events.
Working with Skimstone Arts, supported by the Universities of Northumbria and Newcastle, in 2020 they made a ‘Covid-19 Doorbells’ film. This was used to stimulate discussions during virtual, interactive events about the housing challenges older people were facing during lockdown, as well as wider concerns about their future home and care.
With the easing of restrictions, a series of ‘real world’ Doorbells theatre performances with post show discussions are planned to take place in community venues around Newcastle and surrounding areas during Oct/Nov/ Dec 2021.
Older people from Lewisham and Southwark inspired by London Older People’s Housing Champion
Older people in Southwark & Lewisham who were interested in being part of a new Citizen Research Community (and the potential to influence local housing plans for better ageing) took part in a ‘Decent Homes for Ageing‘ workshop involving London OPH Champion, Ellen Lebethe, who greatly inspired the group. Three further training events took place, all with valuable input from Ellen.
Age Friendly London – Action on Housing for Better Ageing
The GLA is developing a plan to make London an Age Friendly City. This includes setting priorities for age-friendly housing action. At an Age Friendly London Roundtable event involving senior decision makers from London Boroughs, GLA & PAiL two short films of national OPH Champions (from the SW and Y&H) talking about how their groups had gone about constructively influencing local housing plans were shown to set the scene for the event.
‘Supporting older Londoners to live safely and well in their existing homes (through better access to aids and adaptations; impartial housing information and advice; and home improvement support services)’ has been set as a top housing priority.