The Centre for Ageing Better have launched the findings of their Good Home Inquiry.
The Good Home Inquiry, supported by the Centre for Ageing Better, was set up in 2020 to investigate the causes of the crisis of poor-quality housing in England and determine potential policy solutions.
The report shows that over-55s are more likely to live in poor-quality housing, as are those most vulnerable to COVID – such as people with health conditions or from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds. It also finds that while poor-quality housing is common in all tenures, it is most prevalent in the owner-occupied sector, with many cash-poor residents unable to afford vital repairs or improvements to their home.
The pandemic has highlighted:
- the impact that low-quality housing has on our health and wellbeing;
- the urgency of reaching net zero carbon emissions means that retrofitting homes to make them more energy efficient must be a priority; and
- we are facing a rapid ageshift in the population - by 2041 one in four people in England will be aged 65 or over – meaning that the country’s homes need to be suitable for those in later life.
According to the report, government should set out a cross-government housing strategy with a ministerial champion to implement it. It also recommends the creation of a ‘Good Home Agency’ in every local area to provide access to information and advice about repairs, energy efficiency and retrofitting, as well as supporting residents with paying for and finding trusted tradespeople to carry out repairs.
From a wide range of policy options, the Inquiry has developed a series of recommendations. These have been developed in collaboration with cross-industry and cross-sector stakeholders, and tested with people living in homes which require significant improvements.