Erosh is encouraging members to more widely promote how housing and support services for older people can result in cost savings for health and social services departments, following the launch of a national report.
The report launched by the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Housing and Care for Older People, highlights the opportunities to improve the health of older people, as well as creating movement in the housing market, and new housing options for younger people and families.
The report is a result of a five month inquiry into progress with implementing the recommendations and design criteria set out in the first (2009) HAPPI report which called for a national effort to build new and better homes for older people.
The APPG inquiry found there were far reaching benefits from developing good quality housing for older people, including a reduction in health and social care costs, as well as the freeing up of family housing.
Lord Best, who chaired the APPG inquiry, said: “All the political parties now agree on the urgent need to tackle the acute shortages of new homes. But the emphasis, understandably, is mostly on building for younger households: our response is that meeting the needs of the older age-group has the effect of also bringing much-needed family homes onto the market. For every older person that finds a desirable solution to their housing needs, it is estimated that four younger people could move into a family home. And this would obviously help with a sluggish housing market and improve the wider economy”.
He added: “Many older people will understandably want to stay in their family homes. But for owner-occupiers who could gain from a move, we have to develop inspiring, generous, attractive and welcoming housing that meets their wants and needs.”
Attending the launch, our director of policy Rebecca Mollart, said: “The role of specialist housing schemes for older people as community hubs was also highlighted. The majority of our members already open up schemes and services to older people in the wider community so we need to do more to raise the profile of what we do.
“Also raised at the launch was the need for more robust evidence to highlight the positive impact of older people’s housing services on health costs. We have for a long time been promoting this benefit of older people’s housing but we need concrete examples and case studies of these positive outcomes/cost savings. Erosh has a role to play in collating evidence from its members so please let us know if you have an example of how your services have directly helped to achieve health outcomes or resulted in known cost savings.”
If you have any good practice or case studies you would like to share please email Rebecca Mollart.
If you are championing innovation and good practice in older people’s housing and support services why not enter our Innovation & Good Practice Awards.