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The Housing Needs & Aspirations of Older People in Leicestershire Andy Steele Salford Housing & Urban Studies Unit University of Salford 24 th June 2010.

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Presentation on theme: "The Housing Needs & Aspirations of Older People in Leicestershire Andy Steele Salford Housing & Urban Studies Unit University of Salford 24 th June 2010."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Housing Needs & Aspirations of Older People in Leicestershire Andy Steele Salford Housing & Urban Studies Unit University of Salford 24 th June 2010

2 Outline  The background context  Focus of the study  Methodology  Current sheltered housing provision  Extra Care housing  BME aspirations  Gypsies & Travellers  LGBT  Migrant Workers  Views on Retirement Villages  Responding to under-occupation  Emerging themes & recommendations

3 Background context  By estimated to be 18.8% of Leicestershire population: 85% increase from 2.16% to 2.39%  Increasing longevity means greater demand on supported housing  Diverse BME population (5.8% of 65+ pop although geographical concentrations)  Need to distinguish between housing needs/aspirations of ‘young old’ (60-75) ‘old’ old (76-80) & ‘very’ old (80+)  Under-occupation – 64% of 50+ group with 2+ spare rooms

4 Background context (Cont.)  Recent reports emphasised: ‘poor fit’ between housing needs & current housing provision designed for older people; Increasing expectations regarding standards, space & facilities; Difficult-to-let sheltered housing; and Requirement for ‘needs-led’ flexible housing support options

5 Study focus  Study aims: To understand aspirations of older people (size, type tenure & models); Document views on Retirement Village model; Understand migration issues across LA boundaries/sub-market areas; Approaches to tackling under-occupation; and To understand services & support networks important to older people

6 Methodology  Qualitative in nature  Focus groups with groups of older people  Personal interviews  Self-completion survey – under-occupiers Particular emphasis upon current sheltered housing users & under-occupiers (social & private) Geographical coverage (urban/rural)  In total 189 people consulted

7 Current sheltered housing residents (mainstream)  Reasons for moving to sheltered housing: Greater security & peace of mind; Warden availability Difficulties managing previous home Companionship No choice (wanted bungalow)

8 Current sheltered housing residents (mainstream) (Cont.)  Positive aspects: Personal security Ability to mix with different people Range of activities & social events Level of personal independence Staff/warden support  Negative aspects: Lack of on-site warden No overnight accommodation for family/friends Size of kitchen area; Lack of adequate ventilation & poor lighting

9 Current sheltered housing residents (mainstream) (cont.)  Housing aspirations: Mixed according to age & ethnicity – avoiding segregation; Central location – access to facilities & public transport – concern re: rural isolation Size – maximum 40 residents – engender sense of community Facilities – flats with separate bedrooms not bedsit & own bathing & cooking facilities. Communal areas which promoted social interaction Support services – 24 hour warden – acting as gatekeeper to services & advocate. Emphasis upon individual needs New technology – emergency alarm, automated entry lighting & voice responsive mechanisms

10 Current sheltered housing residents - BME  Move to sheltered housing seen as only option – life crisis – organised by family  Positive aspects similar to White British  Negative aspects: lack of organised activities Lack of cultural specific facilities Lack of consultation between staff & residents Size of bedsits/studios Many would consider moving to alternative supported housing

11 Current sheltered housing residents – BME (Cont.)  Housing aspirations: Residents from a range of ethnic/cultural backgrounds but emphasis upon understanding cultural needs of individual; Small schemes – promote interaction Culturally specific facilities – prayer room cooking facilities, Asian TV; Location – close to shops, place of prayer & public transport; Support services – warden contactable 24 hours (cultural sensitivity); Facilities – adequate private space (min 1 bed) & communal areas; and Entertainment – programme of social activities

12 Extra Care Housing  Current residents generally positive however concern about: Changing nature of client group (high support needs) & mix of people with different needs; Lack of private bathing facilities; Lack of proximity to shopping facilities

13 Extra Care Housing (Cont.)  Aspirations: Small sized schemes promotes interaction; Min 1 bed + additional bedrooms for guests Flexible communal areas catering for range of activities 24 hour support Range of on-site facilities but not to extent of inhibiting engagement outside the scheme Located adjacent to range of community facilities None would consider moving

14 Older BME housing aspirations  Asian older people reluctant to seek support outside family  Concern about home meeting needs in longer term  Very limited knowledge of housing options  Largely negative perception of sheltered housing  Very limited knowledge of extra care housing

15 Older BME housing aspirations (Cont.)  Specific requirements: Bungalows/flats centred around common space (cluster); Limited no. of units Asians tended to prefer single ethnic group, other ethnic groups preferred mixed Design features – wheelchair access, bright colours in different parts of scheme; external & internal sensors; large signage; movement activated lighting etc. Location seen as one of most important aspects – link to community & access to facilities Facilities – individual bathrooms, fitness room, ICT & communal space + accommodation for overnight stays 24 hour support (not necessarily on-site). Support determined by individual needs

16 Older Gypsy & Travellers  Aspirations: Dislike for ‘bricks & mortar’ accommodation Preference to remain on/adjacent to current sites with their community Bungalows or dayroom house with living space & kitchen & room for up to 2 caravans Additional ‘hook up’ points for visiting family Access to emergency alarm system On-site support provision or good access to health & social care services

17 Older Lesbian Gay Bisexual & Transgender people  Housing needs not dissimilar to straight people + additional need for personal safety & location within an ‘accepting’ community  Also additional support to avoid isolation  Access to mainstream housing for older people but recognition of specific needs relating to sexuality (e.g. same sex couples)

18 Older Lesbian Gay Bisexual & Transgender people (Cont.)  Aspirations: Desire to remain in own home + sensitive support provision; Would consider mainstream sheltered housing if supportive environment; Schemes located in urban centres with access to specific services (e.g. support groups) Safe & secure environment Provision of sensitive support by staff – promote residents to feel comfortable with their sexuality

19 A8 & A2 Migrant Workers  Limited awareness of housing options & particularly social housing;  Reliance on PRS but not first choice  Access to services limited by English language skills  Little awareness of support services or supported housing  Degree of expectation will be looked after by family members  Limited social networks which impacts on levels of awareness  Preference for home ownership

20 Retirement Villages  General lack of awareness although some had some knowledge & were critical  Preference for: Location adjacent to existing communities Adjacent to good transport links Range of tenure options Range of age groups Range of services on-site

21 Under-occupiers  Some recognition that their current home was too big but sense of attachment to home & community  2/3 would consider down-sizing if support available  Incentives: Financial – home owners – help to buy a bungalow; social renters – help with moving costs Help with finding a new home Help with packing up belongings Help with the practical aspects of moving home Help with settling into new home

22 Emerging themes  Common themes emerge: Provision of housing close to existing communities & amenities – centrally well connected locations; Support sensitive to lifestyle & cultural needs Access to accommodation with modern standards & facilities; Access to support at appropriate times Lack of awareness of housing options – aspirations limited by awareness General preference for remaining in own home – move due to life crisis (little forward planning) Location preference based on access to facilities not geography Small sized schemes to promote & engender mutual support

23 Recommendations  Promotion of supported housing models: Greater promotion of supported housing (based on characteristics & not generalist descriptions which are perceived negatively e.g. sheltered housing). Role of influential others (e.g. family)  Mainstream vs specialist provision: Accessible to all sections of older people with sensitive & tailored support Staff training on equality & diversity Pro-active anti-discrimination policies

24 Recommendations  Location of supported housing: Within existing communities Access to range of facilities & amenities New provision considered from point of view of level of demand from immediate area not geography

25 Recommendations  Supported housing standards: Maximum 40 units per scheme – dispersed or centralised Minimum 1 bedroom self-contained units with designed living and kitchen areas; Overnight facilities for visitors Minimal shared facilities (e.g. kitchens) Flexible communal areas (inside & external) which promote interaction Communal ICT facilities Design features relevant to people with a range of health-related problems Inclusion of assistive technology initiatives Review existing supported housing schemes to ensure meet above criteria

26 Recommendations  Responding to under-occupation: Develop pack of support targeted at home owners & social renters Promote the support available to older people & advocates  Role of Retirement Villages: Requires further investigation  Staying Put: Increase awareness of support available in own home

27 Recommendations  Older Gypsies & Travellers: Review existing site arrangements to see if aspirations of older community members can be accommodated Any new site provision should include a proportion of pitches designed specifically for older people  Older migrant workers Research with this specific group of older people required


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