Care and Repair England have updated the Living Safely and Well at Home brochure.
This resource provides a practical guide to support people in making their homes safer and healthier. The brochure explains how common housing issues may affect a person’s health, how to make improvements, and who to turn to for more information and practical help.
A new graphic briefing sets out the case for action to make existing homes better places to live and age well.
This new publication from Care & Repair England calls for immediate action to improve the two million non-decent homes lived in by older people, 78% of which are owner occupied.
This new briefing follows on from the Non-Decent Homes guide written by Care & Repair England, which draws on the experience of members of the Older People’s Housing Champions network and a presentation given to the Champions in March 2019 by housing expert Helen Garrett of the Building Research Establishment.
A new report by the Centre for Ageing Better and Care & Repair England, Home and Dry: The need for decent homes in later life plus the companion Data Annex found that over 4.3 million homes in England are non-decent, and almost half (2 million) are lived in by someone over the age of 55.
Improvement of the English housing stock has at best stalled and for some groups, particularly the oldest people, there are signs that conditions are worsening.
- The number of households over 75yrs living in a non-decent home has increased by 31% in the past 5 years
Most of the housing in poor condition is lived in by home owners, with 78% of non-decent homes headed by someone over 55 years being owner-occupied. The number of low income older home-owners is increasing, and many are facing financial and/or practical barriers to repairing and maintaining their homes.
The Centre for Ageing Better and Care & Repair England are calling for urgent government action to address poor housing.
This would improve occupants’ physical and mental health, contribute to NHS prevention plans, and help to reduce the widening gaps in life expectancy and healthy life expectancy.
The Older People’s Housing Champions have launched their latest guide for the ‘non-expert’, Help with home adaptations: Improving local services .
This guide includes a ‘Home Adaptation Challenge Checklist’, a list of possible questions that anyone with an interest in improving delivery of home adaptations will find useful in discussions with local providers.
It will help members of Older People’s Forums, Councillors and disabled people’s groups to work with their councils to review local provision, e.g. helping speed up the time it takes to install home adaptations and adopting best practice.
The Wirral Older People’s Parliament are calling on all of those involved in housing in the area to commit to improving housing for ageing.
Their new Manifesto, Better Homes for Older People who live in Wirral: A Housing Manifesto 2019, highlights the critical housing and health links and sets out a succinct 18 point action plan alongside key data.
We are delighted to welcome Pauline Whittaker as the new deputy Housing Champion for the North West.
Pauline has lived in Kirkby, Merseyside for 65 years, and prior to retirement worked at Canon UK Mersey. She is active on a number of national and local forums:
Member of the executive committee of the North West Pensioners Association and the National Pensioners Convention (NPC), which lobbies MPs on behalf of pensioners. Some of the successes achieved through NPC are the pensioners freedom pass, and the guarantee of the triple lock on pension rises.
Pauline is a member of Knowsley Older People’s Voice (KOPV) where she serves on their Steering Group. She also sits on the Older People’s Partnership Board, and the Management Committee of Healthwatch Knowsley, and attends the patient group at Aintree hospital. After being an active member of the Knowsley Care and Repair Steering Group she now sits on the Steering Group for the Centre for Independent Living.
We look forward to welcoming Pauline in person at the next Housing Champions meeting, and to the invaluable knowledge, expertise and experience she will bring to the network.
The Non Decent Homes Guide is part of a series which offers practical information and advice for local older people’s forums and groups who want to influence local policy, plans and actions in relation to housing and older people. The guide, written by Care & Repair England, draws on the experience of members of the Older People’s Housing Champions network and a presentation given to the Champions in March 2019 by housing expert Helen Garrett of the Building Research Establishment.
This guide aims to provide the lay person with a brief overview of:
- the extent of housing disrepair in England
- what is meant by ‘non-decent’ homes and sources of technical information • the impact of poor housing on older occupants
- action to improve existing homes
- potential opportunities to influence local decisions about addressing disrepair
The Non Decent Homes Guide can be found here
The Slough 50plus Forum and Care & Repair England, with initial input from the South East Forum on Ageing (SEEFA), started an internal discussion with Forum members to reflect on what is important about housing in later life. The forum group discussed the “meaning of home” and some members created personalised Digital Stories to “bring to life” their experiences.
In London, Care and Repair England worked with Positive Ageing in London to highlight the views and experiences of older Londoners who have had home adaptations carried out to their homes, highlighting what worked well for them as well as possible improvements. Two focus groups were carried out in April & May 2019, one of the groups including older residents from across the London Boroughs, and the other group included older residents based in the London Borough of Hackney.
The reports from London and Slough can be found here. The Slough report contains links to the personalised Digital Stories.
These reports sit alongside the work of the Older People’s Housing Champions Group on developing their Ideas for Action* guides working with local older people’s groups and organisations across England. In London and Slough older people have come together to influence housing policy and plans locally- the reports highlight their key recommendations.
These reports also highlight pioneering ways to engage with older people whose voices are less often heard.
If you are taking any local action on housing and ageing, we would love to hear from you.
Disappointment in the NHS long term plan on the lack of detail on the impact of housing – and at a time when the World Health Organisations produces a report identifying evidence-based, global recommendations on housing conditions and interventions that promote health.
See Sue Adam’s (Chief Executive of Care & Repair England’s) Blog on the issues for housing and health at this critical time [January 2019]
An independent review of the Disabled Facilities Grant in England, commissioned by DHSC and MHCLG and written by the University of the West of England, Foundations, the Building Research Establishment and Ferret Information System was published in December 2018.
After health and finance, older people identify housing as the third most pressing issue to address with regard to population ageing. In a large scale survey of older people carried out for the Government by Saga, 52% of respondents said that designing housing and communities to meet the needs of multiple generations was one of the main societal issues that arise from people living longer (the third most important issue after health and finance).
Home repairs expenditure was reported as the main use of disposable income after holidays. The survey was undertaken in Nov 2018 in connection with the Ageing Society Grand Challenge.