With increasing focus on how to house our ageing population, and growing evidence (opens new window) of the link between where we live and our mental and physical health, Intergenerational England (opens new window) is advocating for intergenerational housing to be firmly in the mix of any government strategy.
Intergenerational practice brings people of different age groups together, fostering a sense of understanding and respect between generations.
By promoting intergenerational housing schemes and creating communities that promote social connection amongst generations, we can address many of the social and economic challenges associated with housing our rapidly expanding ageing population, forecast to be 22% of the population by 2033 (opens new window).
Many local authorities are already seeing the benefits of intergenerational housing schemes. For communities and individuals to thrive different age groups need to coexist.
Intergenerational housing creates environments that encourage mutual support and build stronger communities. By integrating generations, we can combat some of the greatest challenges we face as a society including loneliness and social isolation.
Last year Cherilyn Mackrory, Conservative MP for Truro and Falmouth called on the Government to provide more options for elderly people looking to move. Poignantly she acknowledged:
‘Not all retired people want to live in retirement villages with other retired people only.’
Working with an advisory board which includes HACT and Clarion, Intergenerational England will collaborate across the housing sector to develop more innovative housing initiatives.
Intergenerational England - The Background
Over the past five years, my organisation - Intergenerational Music Making (opens new window) (IMM), has been delivering intergenerational programmes, training, campaigning and research across care homes, sheltered accommodation, schools, colleges and hospitals and community centres. Our work has demonstrated how to improve the mental and physical wellbeing of the old and the young in communities across the UK through embedding a culture of thinking intergenerationally.
Yet lack of intergenerational connection contributes to some of the greatest challenges we face as a nation, from loneliness and anxiety to poor health, ageism as well as the housing crises.
Through working with organisations like HACT, Clarion, Sovereign Housing and, in discussions with the Housing LIN, IMM has seen the positive impact of intergenerational connection firsthand and been advocating to embed a national culture of intergenerational thinking across all sectors.
Now a new group has come together from public, voluntary, and private sectors to take action. Intergenerational England is the first national body to share best practices, research, and innovation in intergenerational practice. It aims to build a like-minded community that addresses the negative impact of age-segregation to develop a more inclusive society.
By bringing together expertise and resources from key organisations working to support the health, education, wellbeing, and housing needs of people of all ages across England, Intergenerational England aims to drive more cross-generational activity to help:
- Bridge the age gap
- Address housing challenges
- Promote social cohesion and well-being
- Influence government policy & initiatives
- Help and tackle our health and headlines.
To help pave the way for a brighter future for the housing sector we need to come together with one voice to ensure that intergenerational practises take centre stage in future government housing policy.
Intergenerational England is based on collaboration, and they welcome your thoughts and ideas on how to harness the power of intergenerational practise. Visit Intergenerational England (opens new window) for updates and developments.
To register interest for details on current intergenerational projects contact: email@example.com
If you found this of interest, the Housing LIN curates a dedicated page on Intergenerational Housing on its website. And our consultancy team are also currently evaluating a pioneering intergenerational living project. We look forward to sharing the results in due course