William Eichler 01 May 2018

Councils chiefs call for a ‘residential revolution’ in older people’s housing

Councils chiefs call for a ‘residential revolution’ in older people’s housing image

Local authority leaders have said they should be granted the powers necessary to undertake a ‘desperately-needed’ residential revolution in older people’s housing.

Responding to an APPG report on older people’s housing in rural areas, the Local Government Association (LGA) said councils needed the ‘right tools’ to ensure elderly people living outside of urban areas have suitable accommodation.

According to the APPG for Housing and Care for Older People, half of rural households are expected to be headed by someone who is over 65 within the next two decades.

This places a lot of pressure on local authorities due to the expense of providing care to those who are not concentrated in a single, urban setting.

‘The central dilemma we encountered concerned the problem and cost of delivering care services to older people in more remote locations,’ the APPG report noted.

‘Care agencies report difficulties in recruitment and local authorities face extra costs for transport and unproductive time in providing domiciliary support to rural communities.’

The APPG report recommended that more accommodation suitable for an ageing population should be built in market towns.

However, they stressed this would not be enough and said it would be preferable for this accommodation to be available in villages.

‘Small scale provision in large numbers of villages would often be the preferred solution for those who otherwise simply refuse to take the step of moving from unsuitable properties,’ the report said.

This solution would enable family and friends to continue to support their elderly relatives, which would in turn bring savings for the state.

Local SME housebuilders are able to provide some of this accommodation, but major developers are reluctant to build on small, rural sites for older people, the APPG concluded.

This would mean councils and other not-for-profit builders would have to step in to fill this market gap.

‘Until measures are in place that mean private sector players can meet local need, we conclude that accommodation for older people will usually require the involvement of housing associations, local councils, or other not–for–profit bodies like Community Land Trusts or almshouses,’ the report concluded.

‘Our overarching conclusion is that, despite Government commitments to increase housebuilding nationally, special measures will be needed to secure homes suitable for older people-– increasingly representing the majority of residents - living in rural communities.’

Commenting on the report and noting the ‘clear link’ between housing, health and social care, Cllr Izzi Seccombe, chair of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board, said: ‘Councils want to see a desperately-needed residential revolution in older people’s housing.

‘However, they need to have the tools to build these appropriate homes, including the freedom to borrow to build new homes across the country, fully resourced planning teams so approvals can be given to appropriate homes as quickly as possible, and allowed to retain 100% of receipts from Right to Buy sales so that homes sold can be replaced.’

‘If councils are given the right tools, we could trigger that residential revolution and deliver the homes our older residents need, but with an ageing population, the clock is ticking,’ she continued.

‘As a country, we owe it to our older people to tackle this problem urgently - the time to act is now.’

Supporting young victims of domestic abuse image

Supporting young victims of domestic abuse

Steph Waddell says it’s time for a serious long-term commitment from government to improve understanding of what works in supporting children affected by domestic abuse.
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Information Governance Lead

Greater Manchester Combined Authority
£41,881 - £45,859
We are recruiting for Information Governance professionals who will be ambassadors of information governance excellence within... Greater Manchester
Recuriter: Greater Manchester Combined Authority

Security Analyst

Essex County Council
Up to £45597 per annum
Security Analyst Permanent, Full Time £41,000 to £45,597 per annum Location
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Regulatory Compliance Lead - Complaints and Compliance

Essex County Council
£34501 - £36501 per annum
Regulatory Compliance Lead - Complaints and Compliance Permanent, Full Time £32,900 to £36,501 per annum Location
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Social Worker - Recruitment Day

Essex County Council
£32065 - £43839 per annum
***When applying for this role, please note that interviews will be held as part of a Virtual Recruitment Day on the 13th July 2021*** About the Role England, Essex, Harlow
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Quantity Surveyor Procurement (Major Works and Refurbishment)

Brent Council
£46,839 - £49,827 p.a. inc.
An exciting opportunity to provide quantity surveying services and support for the Council’s Housing major works refurbishment projects. Brent, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue