Transforming housing for older people

Mark Prisk MP has backed calls to transform the UK’s approach to providing homes for the elderly. He is a senior member of the House of Commons Housing, Communities & Local Government Select Committee and the Committee has now issued a comprehensive plan for improving housing for older people. It follows detailed evidence sessions at Westminster.

The Committee’s recommendations include:

  • Building all new homes to accessible and adaptable standards so that they are ‘age proofed’ and can meet the current and future needs of older people.
  • Additional funding for Home Improvement Agencies operating services including a handyperson service for older people.
  • A range of measures to help older people overcome the barriers to moving home including an accreditation for companies which provide tailored services for older people moving home and better customer service and guidance from lenders when applying for a mortgage.
  • Ensuring that national and local planning policy encourages the building of more of all types of housing for older people – extra care, retirement, sheltered and accessible housing across the social and private sectors, with older people involved in the design process.

Mr Prisk and his fellow Committee members also recommend 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.

Mr Prisk said “This report offers good ideas in the short, medium and longer term. First we need to sharply improve the advice and support older people receive, to help them remain independent in their homes for longer. Second, we must broaden the choice of types of housing to give people choice, reflecting their needs. Third, we need to overhaul our planning and housing policies so we have homes which will be work for people, whatever their age or infirmity. If we get this right it will transform the daily lives of older people here in East Herts and across the country.

For details of the report go to:…