A Housing Manifesto for Ageing Well
The Older People’s Housing Champions are a national network of older activists who support action by older people’s groups to improve housing and related services for an ageing population across England. This year they have launched their Manifesto, “Ageing Well: A Housing Manifesto”. They say that a home is not just about the bricks and mortar, although this is important, but also about being part of neighbourhoods and communities. “Home” is the hub of life and living independently in a home of their choice is the simple aspiration of most older people.
The manifesto has 10 headline requests:
- Home adaptations assistance should be mandatory, delivered quickly, efficiently and be a core part of future integrated health, social care and housing systems
- 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
- 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
- Local authority house condition audits should be re-introduced alongside private sector housing renewal programmes to tackle direpair and prevent existing housing stock decline
- All ordinary housing should be built for all ages – all new homes should be built to accessible standards and be suitable for further adaptation
- More innovative mainstream housing of a design and size that is particularly suitable for later life should be built
- A wide range of specialist and supported housing for those with later life care and support needs should be built
- There should be a national source of independent, specialist housing, care and finance information combined with impartial local one to one advice and support to enable older people and their Carers and professionals to make informed decisions
- A register of accessible, adaptable housing would help people locate suitable homes quickly when their needs change
- Older people, who are 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
They conclude by saying that most older people want to age well at home, remaining part of their community and involved with family and friends. Housing is fundamental to achieving this aspiration. Decision makers across planning, housing, health and care need to reflect this aspiration, setting it as an underlying objective for all their policies, and then working together to ensure that all older people have access to a decent home in later life.
If you want to make any comments on the manifesto or see the full document then you can email email@example.com or contact Justine, who is the older peoples forums coordinator at Sefton Pensioners Advocacy Centre on 01704 538 411