The Select Committee report calls for a national strategy for older people's housing to bring together and improve policy in this area.
It makes a number of far reaching recommendations that should see a greater focus on housing for older people. They include:
- The availability of housing advice and information should be central to the strategy and the existing FirstStop Advice Service should be re-funded by the Government to provide an expanded national telephone advice service
- Recognise the link between homes and health and social care in the forthcoming social care green paper
- Additional funding for Home Improvement Agencies operating services including a handyperson service for older people.
- A range of measures to help older people overcome the barriers to moving home including an accreditation for companies which provide tailored services for older people moving home and better customer service and guidance from lenders when applying for a mortgage.
- Ensuring that national and local planning policy encourages the building of more of all types of housing for older people - extra care, retirement, sheltered and accessible housing, and community-led or cohousing across the social and private sectors, with older people involved in the design process.
- Specialist housing, and particularly extra care housing, can promote the health and wellbeing of older people and their carers, leading to savings in spending on health and social care.
- Recognising the HAPPI design principles, build all new homes to accessible and adaptable standardsso that they are 'age proofed' and can meet the current and future needs of older people.