Press release

New housing to help older and disabled people to live independently

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Building projects given the green light to start producing homes that will support older and disabled people to live independently.

Building projects up and down the country have been given the green light to start producing homes that will support older and disabled people to live independently for as long as possible, Care and Support Minister Norman Lamb announced today.

Last year the government asked local authorities to bid for a share of £300 million to boost the supported housing market. The Department of Health has now allocated funding to build more than 3,500 new homes.

As part of the first phase of the scheme, the Department will now issue more than £100 million of this fund to the Homes and Communities Agency, which will work with 86 successful agencies to build 2,875 new homes across the country. In London specifically, the Department will award the Greater London Assembly just over £29 million for 35 successful bidders who will be building 669 homes.

Both projects are estimated to create more than 1,000 new jobs. This is in line with the Government’s commitment to strengthen the economy by boosting capital spending. Further funding will be issued to successful bidders in the next bidding phase.

Norman Lamb, Care and Support Minister said:

As we know, most people want to be independent in their own homes and as the population ages, more and more of us will need housing that supports us to do that.

We have awarded companies funding to build more than 3,500 homes around the country. These will be tailored to people’s needs and will help them to remain active as long as possible without the need of going into a care home.

Better and more suitable housing will also alleviate pressure on carers and families, as the person being cared for will be able to carry out everyday tasks more easily.

Building new supported housing will help to meet the big long-term challenges such as demographic change and the ageing population. Affordable supportive housing is designed to be accessible and aid independent living by having, for example:

  • very few or no stairs
  • cupboards that are at a reachable height for wheelchair users
  • adapted bathrooms that are easy to access for older or disabled people
  • handrails to reduce the chance of falls

High quality, innovative housing of this kind will help people receive care and practical help in their own home, reducing the need for them to go into care homes or hospitals. Specially designed housing of this kind can give people the option to downsize from a larger home to a more manageable property designed for their needs.

Boris Johnson, Mayor of London said:

It is essential that we increase the supply of purpose built, quality homes for older and disabled Londoners if they are to have a real choice in how and where they live. These affordable homes will help hundreds of Londoners remain in their own communities and, with a greater demand for quality and design, raise the benchmark for how this type of housing is delivered for this growing demographic.

Andy Rose, Chief Executive of the Homes and Communities Agency, said:

Housing plays a crucial role in helping older people and disabled adults to live as independently as possible and with an ageing population and changing demographics, investment in specialised housing is more important than ever. Government has committed significant investment and I am pleased that the HCA has made allocations for so many new high quality homes to be built, while delivering value for money for the taxpayer. This is core business for the HCA and the allocations announced today will help make a real difference to people’s lives in communities right across the country.

Jeremy Porteus, Director of the Housing Learning and Improvement Network (LIN) and chair of the Vulnerable and Older People’s Advisory Group at the HCA welcomed the news:

This is a significant boost to the specialised housing market and sets out a longer term vision for closer integration across housing, health and social care. It will not only give confidence to the sector that innovative specialist housing is an important component of any new development portfolio but, above all, will provide greater choice for older people and those with care and support requirements to move to the accommodation they so desperately need.

From this summer, we will be working with private specialised housing providers as part of a second phase of the fund which will be launching in 2013 to stimulate the wider market and promote innovative housing solutions.

Background information

  1. For more information please contact the Department of Health press office on 0207 210 5317.

  2. The Homes and Communities Agency is the single, national housing and regeneration delivery agency for England, and is the Regulator of Social Housing Providers. Our vision is to:

    • Create opportunity for people to live in homes they can afford in places they want to live, by enabling local authorities and communities to deliver the ambition they have for their own areas
    • Undertake robust economic regulation that maintains lender confidence and protects the taxpayer.

For more information visit the Homes and Communities Agency website.