Supported housing is in the news alongside continuing concerns over the demands and capacity of the health and social care system to meet the needs of our ageing population. Where and how we live plays a critical role in shaping the quality of our lives as we age. The contribution of sheltered housing has often been overlooked in the housing pathway that can lead to secure and engaged older lives in supportive communities. We need a radical shift in both our expectations of the health and social care systems in meeting our needs and part of this must be a range of housing options that provide homes fit for living, caring and ageing. There are additional barriers to be overcome for people who do not have housing equity to enable them to exercise market choices and who will continue to need affordable, fit for purpose, housing options in the rented sector.
The report addresses the current uncertainties over the future funding of all supported housing and the specific issues for sheltered housing. It is important to emphasise that the proposals are about the accommodation not the support services and a sustainable funding source will continue to be needed to support people to sustain their housing.
Our report sets out the results of a year long programme of collaborative working that seeks to identify some of the opportunities to shape the future delivery of sheltered housing and challenges some current practices based on the work of experts by experience including the views of current residents.