Lifetime Homes, Lifetime Neighbourhoods: A National Strategy for Housing in an Ageing Society

A cross-government strategy supported by the Department for Communities and Local Government, Department of Health and Department for Work and Pensions published on 25 February 2008 sets out a plan to provide better homes for older people and increase their housing options beyond care homes and sheltered housing. Read the full strategy here.

The government proposes action to promote independence by improving housing choices and provision for older people today. There is an urgent need to improve information and advice services so that older people know how to make the right choice for them, and are not forced to leave their homes before they are ready or need to do so.

  • Working with partners across government and in the voluntary and community sector there will be a new approach to a national housing advice and information service. Linked to this, local housing information services will be strengthened.

Steps will be taken to make it easier and safer for people to stay in their own homes, near their family and neighbours.

  • From 2009 new rapid repairs and adaptations services will be introduced to support more handyperson's schemes across the country. This will be linked to the development of the Home Improvement Agency (HIA) sector and our 'Future HIA project'.
  • For people with disabilities, the Disabled Facilities Grant will be modernised so that it reaches more people, more quickly. Funding for the DFG will be increased by 31 per cent by 2011.

Housing and the places people live must reflect the changes that occur over the lifetime, so that people are not excluded by design as they grow older and frail.

  • All public housing will be built to Lifetime Homes Standards by 2011. The government's aspiration is that all new housing will be built to these standards by 2013.
  • Regional and local plans will be required to take proper account of ageing and the needs of older people.

There will be new opportunities to strengthen the relationship between housing, health and care services to promote health and wellbeing.

  • Better outcomes for older people will be delivered by improving joined-up assessment, service provision and commissioning across housing, health and care services.
  • Greater personalisation will be delivered through the development of Personal Budgets.
  • A new approach to transformation prevention will be piloted to identify people most at risk of a health or care crisis.
  • The aspirations of older people will be captured in a new positive vision for specialised housing that will encourage the highest standards of innovative, desirable housing with care, and ensure that these forms of housing are at the heart of our communities.
  • An Innovation Panel will advise government on how to further reform new-build specialised housing and make the best use of existing stock. This will be supported by better evidence and a coordinated cross-government research approach.

Supporting documents for the National Strategy for Housing in an Ageing Society include:

Housing Choices and Aspirations of Older People: Research from the New Horizons Programme

Researchers at the University of York undertook eight focus groups composed of 'younger' older people (aged 48 to 64) and 'older' old people aged (65 and above) to explore the influences on participants' housing decisions, and their future housing intentions and aspirations. Read the findings here.

More Choice, Greater Voice: A Toolkit for Producing a Strategy for Accommodation with Care for Older People.

The toolkit is good practice rather than mandatory and has been prepared to offer guidance for commissioners and providers to enable them to produce accommodation and care strategies for older people. It is designed to be helpful to a range of people working at local and regional level. Access the toolkit here.

Disabled Facilities Grant: The Package of Changes to Modernise the Programme

Read the changes to the Disabled Facilities Grant here.

Towards Lifetime Neighbourhoods: Designing Sustainable Communities For All - A Discussion Paper

A lifetime neighbourhood would provide all residents with the best possible chance of health, wellbeing and social inclusion, particularly as they grow older. This paper looks at the characteristics of lifetime neighbourhoods and how to achieve them. Read the discussion paper here.

Sustainable Planning for Housing in an Ageing Population: A Guide for Regional-level Strategies

This report is designed to be a point of departure for those working towards sustainable communities, helping users to 'future proof' plans for housing, the built environment and the wider community. It provides evidence that population ageing is a fundamental consideration in sustainable planning; recommendations on how housing strategies can help to prepare for population ageing; and key regional-specific data and sources of further information. Read the report here.




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