New housing strategy for London

January 24th, 2014 | Posted by Gordon Deuchars in Advocacy | Campaigns | Consultations | Energy and Fuel | Health | London | Older People | Older People's Organisations | Uncategorized

A public consultation on the Mayor’s Draft London Housing Strategy closes on 17th February 2014. Age UK London will be responding and it would be great to hear from you if you have views and experiences which you would like to feed in.

What the Mayor’s team have put in the draft does show awareness of older people having housing needs, but have they understood the range of needs and got the right solutions? What would you like to see the Mayor, local authorities and housing providers do to improve housing for older people? A few main points included in the consultation document :

While the main overall emphasis is on meeting the needs of working people for affordable housing (whwtever “affordable” means), many parts of the strategy are definitely of interest from the age point of (even leaving aside that “older people” can also be “working people”). Key messages include supporting good space standards in building in London and reaffirming the existing Lifetime Homes approach to new building  and the London Housing Design Guide (Section 2.5), retrofitting  existing homes to improve energy efficiency (2.6) and investment to meet the Decent Homes Standard (2.7)

Section 3.8 on older people’s housing refers to forecasts for expected growth in the older population, and includes an emphasis on Lifetime Homes and Lifetime Neighbourhoods to ensure the “mainstream” is accessible for people of all ages. It aims to promote more purpose-built older people’s housing in the open market sector and calls for more exploration of options like shared equity and equity release to support this. At the same time the proposals recognise there will be more need for more specialised housing for people with higher support needs. This part mentions what the Mayor has already done through the Housing Covenant to support specialist accommodation for older people. Section 3.8 does not include target numbers for provision of different types of housing for older people.


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2 Responses

  • Barbara Clarke says:

    Re: Co-Housing

    If the Mayor is serious about a Housing Strategy for the future, he should consider Co-Housing Communities. These are where all the people who are going to be living in the development initiate and develop the scheme and put it into action – including commissioning architects, builders, developers etc, and undertake its continued management.
    The premises can either be rental or owner-occupied.
    Some of the benefits are:
    – ecologically friendly
    – togetherness
    – reduction in costs due to economies of scale
    – ownership and control by those who live there

    It would be great if Age UK London wanted to explore some of the options around Co-Housing Communities – maybe run a workshop.
    If anyone else is interested in this area or in starting up a community, please get in touch with me.

  • Gordon Deuchars says:

    Good to hear from you and I agree that co-housing needs to be one of the options that the Mayor develops for housing for older people in London. We included this as a point in the Age UK London response to the Housing Strategy.
    Will also look into what we can do with this in Age UK London’s future work although I can’t make any immediate promises.

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