A study by King's College has found that London has become more adapted to an ageing population in the last seven years, but there is still some way to go before the city can be called 'age friendly'. The follow up study found that while many of the ongoing problems cannot be solved in isolation, much progress has been made.
With regard to housing, the report identifies the persistent shortage of affordable homes for older Londoners as well as the poor quality of much housing has a profound effect on the housing choices are necessary. It recommends that:
- there is a need for a mix of housing sizes and tenures and options such as co-housing and home sharing;
- more new homes built to Lifetime Standards are required and more specialist housing such as extra care;
- Local Authorities be enabled and supported to build new social housing for rent and to use revenue to refurbish existing stock to a decent standard
- the social determinants of ill-health at all ages should be tackled, including a reduction in air pollution and improving housing conditions that can lead to health inequalities; and
- there is a need to support volunteering, local group activities and informal care which confirm self-esteem and confidence.
The report also advises that Local Authorities should keep enough revenue to maintain or re-open community centres, libraries and other cultural facilities; and to support the community and voluntary groups that engage and assist older people, seeking innovative ways to do so.