Unfortunately, we know not everyone has the same opportunity to experience a good later life and to live in safe, warm and accessible housing. As our over 50s population continues to grow, we must understand the increasing diversity of the ageing population and do more to tackle the causes and symptoms of inequality in later life.
Our goal to improve the housing offer is underpinned by an evidence base developed through collaboration and continual research. The research provides recommendations that practitioners can adopt on the ground and is central to delivering our ambitions. We will continue to pursue research and analysis that supports our ambitions, fills gaps in our knowledge and communicate this to stakeholders.
A summary of findings confirms the importance of the following in delivering our vision for age-friendly homes:
- The lived experience and the voice of people in mid and later life will be central to their own choices and therefore their engagement is essential to better understanding and development of our strategic and policy approaches.
- Recognising that people are diverse and want different things from their homes and communities and by engaging directly we can deliver a housing offer that is truly ‘fit for purpose’.
- Establishing a positive narrative around the housing offer and opportunities in later life, the scale and diversity of need and aspirations.
- Embedding the evidence base within the strategic agenda of Greater Manchester and into local authority housing strategies, plans and the planning regime to meet the aspirations and requirements for homes in later life.
- Identifying more diverse and innovative housing options and tenures that might better match the housing needs of an ageing population, and demonstrating how they can be delivered.
- Prioritising opportunities that support people to remain living in their current home by exploring how existing homes can be adapted, extended and reconfigured to meet individual needs.
- Influencing housing developers to consider their role in delivering a better offer of housing in mid and later life.
- Promoting equality and reducing inequality: there are many inequalities driven by where older people live, how much money they have, their gender, race, disability or sexuality and plans and strategies need to reflect that if they are to deliver our vision.
- Developing information and support platforms for people throughout their life course to access information and diverse housing options.
- Integrating age-friendly approaches within our neighbourhoods and communities to support ageing in place, including where there are large scale regeneration projects and communities being built.
Recognising that people are diverse and want different things from their homes and communities and by engaging directly we can deliver a housing offer that is truly ‘fit for purpose’.