Housing and neighbourhoods will be designed to meet the needs and aspirations of an ageing population, the government announced today.
Its national housing strategy, Lifetime Homes, Lifetime Neighbourhoods, aims to be “age friendly” so that more elderly people can live independently in their own homes This will be done by building appropriate homes and boosting funds for adaptations and repairs.
As of 2011, all new social housing will be built to comply with the 16 Lifetime Home standards, which are designed for people with impaired mobility and wheelchair users. The standards will apply to all new homes from 2013.
The government plans to promote “age-friendly cities” where planners, developers and councils will be given guidelines to design neighbourhoods with older people in mind.
Hazel Blears, communities and local government minister, said: “By making age-friendly changes both inside and outside of homes we can help to break the link between old age and dependency.”
To support more elderly people, the government plans to invest a further £33m into a national rapid repair and adaptations service.
A dedicated National Housing Advice and Information Service will be set up to support older people and £460m has been allocated to boost the Disabled Facilities Grant, which funds home adaptations.
Paul Cann, director of policy and external relations at Help the Aged, said: “Housing is the backbone of older people’s quality of life, affecting their health, well-being and independence. Older people often tell us that they want to live in their own homes for as long as possible. This strategy will hopefully be a spring board to this becoming a reality.”