More housing for older people needed says CLG Committee

The House of Commons Communities and Local Government Committee has called on the Government to recognise the link between homes and health in the forthcoming Green Paper.
It said a national strategy for older people’s housing is needed in order to bring together and improve policy in this area Central to this should be making housing advice and information more widely available, with the existing FirstStop Advice Service being expanded to provide a national telephone advice service. 
The Committee also recommends in its latest report that the National Planning Policy Framework be amended to encourage the development of more housing for older people. Councils should 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, it argues. 
Committee chair Clive Betts MPsaid: With an ageing population, it’s vital that the link between housing and health and social care is recognised. A new national strategy for older people, taking on board the recommendations of our report, should be linked to the government’s forthcoming social care green paper. 
There is a huge variety of housing options for those in later life, so it’s important that older people are given help to make the right decisions about their future. 
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.