The Centre for Ageing Better and Care & Repair England have joined forces to tackle non-decent housing across England.
The partnership, confirmed through a new Memorandum of Understanding, will identify key actions needed to improve the quality of existing homes, in line with Ageing Better’s goal that by 2030 there will be 1 million fewer homes defined as hazardous and half of all new homes will meet accessibility standards.
According to a recent study, only 7% of housing in England is accessible, and 20% of homes occupied by older people in England fail the government’s basic standard of decency.
The study also found that 1.3 million people aged 55 and over live in a home with at least one ‘category 1 hazard’ that poses a serious threat to the health or safety of people living in or visiting the home.
There is a longstanding history of collaboration between the Centre for Ageing Better and Care & Repair England, and the new Memorandum of Understanding confirms that the two organisations will work together for an initial period of three years.
Care & Repair England, a small charity set up in 1986 to improve the homes and living conditions of older people, will use its specialist subject knowledge and influence as a key body in the housing sector to provide strategic advice to Ageing Better, who will bring evidence, analysis and evaluation expertise to the partnership.
Dr Anna Dixon, chief executive, Centre for Ageing Better, said: “Today’s housing stock is amongst the worst in Europe, and too many people are living in non-decent homes which endanger their health.
“There is a strong public appetite for future-proofed homes which enable people to live active and fulfilling lives, and there is much more that can be done to adapt our current housing stock to the needs of people in later life.”
Sue Adams, chief executive, Care & Repair England, said: “The vast majority of older people live in ordinary homes and wish to do so for as long as possible. Making those homes warm, safe, accessible places in which to age well is critical to maintaining health and independence in later life.”
“There’s an urgent need to identify the most effective ways of making our existing housing stock fit for the future.”