The Communities and Local Government Committee has concluded that a national strategy for older people’s housing is needed to bring together and improve policy in this area.
The Committee calls on the Government to recognise the link between homes and health and social care in the forthcoming social care green paper. The Committee also recommends that the National Planning Policy Framework be amended to encourage the development of more housing for older people and that councils identify a target proportion of new housing to be developed for this purpose, as well as publishing a strategy which explains how they intend to meet the housing needs of older people in their area.
The CLG Committee’s report on Housing for Older People recommends that the wider availability of housing advice and information should be central to the strategy and the existing FirstStop Advice Service should be re-funded by the Government to provide an expanded national telephone advice service.
Clive Betts MP, Chair of the Communities and Local Government Committee, said:
The right kind of housing can help people stay healthy and support them to live independently. This can help reduce the need for home or residential care, bringing real benefits to the individual and also relieving pressure on the health service. The green paper must consider the range of housing for older people, from mainstream and accessible homes to supported and extra care housing, as well as access to adaptations and repairs.
Village Foundations comment
The provision of housing for an ageing population is something that has long needed addressing. This is especially acute in rural areas where the average age in rural areas was 44.4 years in 2016, 5.5 years older than in urban areas (ONS 2016). Age appropriate design and housing can tackle both the requirement to increase housing supply but also support communities in rural areas by enabling resident to remain in the village.
The VF almshouse concept works by providing smaller homes that are more easily management by older people and provide a small amount of private garden space. In addition to this is a larger shared area of open space, often centred around a village green concept or a community orchard. Therefore, residents can benefit from both private gardens and larger open spaces, along with living in a community of similarly placed people.
Full details here: the DeZeen website.