Inclusive neighbourhoods - Promoting social inclusion in housing with care and support for older people

Cover ILC Inclusive Neighbourhoods

This policy report is based on findings from the Diversity in Care Environments (DICE) study, conducted by the University of Bristol, in collaboration with the International Longevity Centre-UK (ILC) and The Housing Learning and Improvement Network (Housing LIN).

Housing with care and support (HCS) schemes are designed to prevent social isolation, promote interaction among residents and help people live independent, healthy lives as they get older. However, not much is known about how these living environments support older residents from social minorities, or how they work to ensure that all residents are equally valued and included.

This policy report presents new research evidence on the provision of inclusive housing schemes for older people, which finds that:

  • HCS schemes work well in counteracting social isolation and preventing loneliness among older residents
  • Pockets of isolation still exist among some residents, particularly people from social minorities

This report also identifies the interpersonal, organisational, physical and environmental factors that help promote social inclusion in HCS for older people, including supportive neighbour relations; on-site staff presence; inclusion with the local area; listening to the views of residents; inclusive and age-friendly design; adequate digital infrastructure; and a supportive policy environment.

Using these new insights, the report outlines the ways in which national government; local councils, commissioners and designers; and housing providers, scheme management and staff can address discrimination and create more inclusive, age-friendly environments to support us as we get older.